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Monday 10 August 2015

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TUSC ex-councillor condemns Blairite manoeuvres against the Corbyn campaign

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today called on media outlets to name the sources for their stories that the Labour Party is being 'infiltrated' by TUSC members.

This follows the revelation that a former South London councillor who stood for TUSC in May was wrongly named in The Times as somebody who had signed up to support Jeremy Corbyn's leadership bid.

Last week The Times named Chris Flood, who stood as a TUSC candidate in the Lewisham Deptford constituency in May, as a new registered Labour supporter.

Chris was an elected councillor from 2003 to 2010 in the South London borough of Lewisham. He represented the Socialist Party, one of the component organisations of TUSC, co-founded in 2010 with the late Bob Crow of the RMT transport union, together with other leading trade unionists, the SWP, and other socialist groups, to provide an electoral alternative for those opposing austerity.

Chris Flood said: "I have not signed up to join the Labour Party and if my name appears on any list a fraud has been committed.

"I was elected as a councillor in Lewisham standing against Labour and for seven years consistently voted against the pro-market, cuts and privatisation policies pursued by the Labour-controlled council.

"I haven't changed my position and I know TUSC will continue to challenge Labour candidates who won't resist austerity, for example in next year's local council elections". TUSC's next conference is on September 26th, after the result of the Labour leadership contest, where the TUSC campaign in next year's elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Greater London Authority, and 127 English local councils, will be discussed.

Chris continued: "But I welcome the support that Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity and socialist message is generating and would not therefore do anything that would give an excuse to the big business wing of the Labour Party to overturn the result if Jeremy wins.

"There are six declared supporters of Liz Kendal in the Lewisham council Labour group and I wonder if the Blairites have set up my alleged 'infiltration' of the leadership election for their own ends?".

Clive Heemskerk, TUSC's National Election Agent, said: "News items have circulated making claims from alleged 'Labour insiders' that, according to the Mirror, up to a quarter of TUSC election candidates have signed up as registered Labour supporters to vote in the leadership contest. The Guardian puts the figure at 92 TUSC members.

"But only two names have been mentioned, in The Times report. And now it looks as if a fraud has been committed regarding Chris Flood's alleged membership.

"Media outlets should stop feeding the Blairite manoeuvres against Jeremy Corbyn's campaign by naming those making these anonymous briefings".