Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn is set to win the Labour leadership race, according to the latest polls Getty

The Socialist Party (England and Wales) plans to hold talks with Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to break-up Labour if the left-wing firebrand loses the party's leadership contest, IBTimes UK has learned.

A source on the Sociality Party's national committee revealed that the group would use a Corbyn loss as a basis to start discussions with the veteran parliamentarian and his supporters.

The insider said the group, formally known as the Militant Tendency, would urge the Islington North MP to split with Labour and ally himself with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), an electoral alliance of left-wing trade unions and political parties.

The revelation comes after claims of left-wing entryism into the Labour leadership's contest emerged over the weekend. Corbyn was challenged on the BBC's Andrew Marr show about the allegations, but the 66-year-old rejected the claims.

"The entryism that I see is lots of young people who were hitherto not very excited by politics coming in for the first time," he said.

"I only want people to register as Labour supporters if they are genuine Labour supporters and they want to stay for the longer course."

So far Corbyn has gained the support of non-affiliated unions the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

However, the Socialist Party source denied there was a hard-left plot to get Cobryn into power.

"We would only consider-re-entry or orientation on the basis of a mass surge of workers and young people joining, a programme of democratisation and the removal of Blairites and big business elements [from the party]," he said.

Elsewhere, Conservatives and right-wingers have suggested that they would take advantage of the Labour's £3 "supporters" fee and register to vote for Corbyn. The Daily Telegraph even ran a story entitled 'How you can help Jeremy Corbyn win – and destroy the Labour Party'.

But Labour have maintained that saboteurs would be stopped because the party can vet new-joiners.

The issue hit headlines after private polling, seen by the New Statesman, placed Corbyn ahead of bookies' favourite Andy Burnham in the contest. The surprising data was followed by a YouGov survey, which put the MP 17 points in front on first preference votes.

Corbyn's campaign had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

What was the Militant Tendency?

Dave Nellist
Dave NellistTwitter

Claims of left-wing entryism will remind Labour supporters of the 1980s, when the party was engulfed by a row with a faction called Militant Tendency, which was later renamed Militant and eventually rebranded as the Socialist Party (England and Wales).

The organisation, heavily influenced by thinkers like Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky, was made up of hard-left activists. The secretive group sought to gain influence in Labour during the 1970s and 80s by infiltrating the party.

The faction gained further notoriety when Labour won control of Liverpool Council in 1983. Militant members had successfully infiltrated key positions in the local party and Derek Hatton, a member of the Trotskyist group, became deputy leader of the council.

The local authority, under the influence of Militant, vehemently opposed Margaret Thatcher and clashed with the then prime minister over her privatisation programme and cuts to government grants.

The radicals also fell out with former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, who suspended the Liverpool labour party in 1985 and launched an investigation into the group.

Kinnock infamously attacked Militant and the Liverpool Council leadership when he addressed Labour's annual conference in 1985 in Brighton.

"I'll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions, they are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that out-dated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers," he blasted.

Hatton was expelled from Labour in 1986 alongside other Militant members. In 1991, Labour de-selected Dave Nellist and Terry Fields as general election candidates and expelled the Militant supporting former MPs from the party.

The same year, Militant scrapped its programme of entryism. Nellist is now the national chair of the TUSC, which won 36,327 votes across 135 seats at the general election.