Norwich MP calls for Labour unity and says talk of “purge” of Labour moderates is “ridiculous”

Jeremy Corbyn and Clive Lewis at the Burston School Strike Rally 2015. Photo: Stuart Goodman

Jeremy Corbyn and Clive Lewis at the Burston School Strike Rally 2015. Photo: Stuart Goodman - Credit: Archant

Labour MP Clive Lewis has called for Labour MPs to respect the democratic mandate of Jeremy Corbyn, dismissing claims that there will be a 'purge' of MPs in his party.

The Norwich South MP said the grassroots group - Momentum - which has sprung up in the wake of the Jeremy Corbyn Labour leadership victory and is backed by the party hierarchy - had attracted lots of interest in Norfolk, including from people who had not previously been part of the Labour Party.

Momentum presents itself as the 'successor entity' to Mr Corbyn's leadership campaign, and claims to have a programme to 'transform' Labour into a more democratic entity and to bring about 'a mass movement for change, for real progressive change in every town and city'.

Mr Lewis, joined the shadow front bench as the party's climate change minister last month, dismissed the claims made at the weekend by Labour MP Mary Creagh, who also put herself forward as a leadership contender, that a 'purge' of moderate MPs by Jeremy Corbyn's supporters was 'not impossible'.

Mr Lewis said: 'First of all they are not moderates. What I talk about in terms of public services, protecting the environment, It is not extreme. It is moderate. I am not even going to accept the phrase that they are the moderates. There is not planned purge of the moderates, that is ridiculous.'

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He warned MPs to 'respect the democratic mandate' that Jeremy Corbyn was given and said MPs should act like a 'team players'.

'You have got the NHS in crisis, thousands of job losses in the renewables sector, junior doctors on the brink of going on strike, you have got the country falling apart around our ears and you have people like Mary Creagh worrying about nonexistent purges, it is a travesty. She and everyone else should stop it and get behind the democratic mandate and she and everybody else should start attacking the real enemy which is the Conservative Party. If she and others continue this then I expect the CLPs (local Labour Party) will be unhappy. People need to pack it in and get on with the job at hand,'

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