MP Angela Eagle is facing a backlash from her local Labour party after challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership in a move that could see the Wallasey branch attempt to deselect her. Both Wallasey Branch Labour Party and Wallasey Constituency Labour Party have given their backing to Corbyn, with the CLP calling on Eagle to stand behind the Islington North MP.
But because Eagle has opted to challenge Corbyn for the leadership, there are rumours her local party may attempt to deselect her – with several Labour supporters suggesting Eagle does not represent the views of the local party.
"Wallasey Branch Labour Party passed, with an overwhelming majority, a motion of support for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party," the local party said in a statement.
"As such we wish to send our message of support to our leader Jeremy Corbyn at this time as we work together on the larger issues affecting our society."
But any deselection would have to wait until the next election as constituency parties only have the option to refuse to select a sitting MP for candidacy when they reapply to be a candidate − in what is usually a symbolic process − every general election.
Indeed, on one of the local branches' Facebook page, several supporters have suggested Eagle should be deselected, with one commenting: "Anyone from Wallasey who has influence time for you to revise your position, deselect Angela Eagle."
However, a former delegate to Wallasey CLP, who chose to remain anonymous, said the backing of Corbyn and suggested deselection of Eagle does not represent the majority view.
"I am terribly upset that they should take such a stand against Angela," the Labour Party member said.
"A month ago, the CLP website was saying we were lucky to have a wonderful MP and now they are baying for her in disgusting terms. I wouldn't say Labour Party cardholders in Wallasey want her to leave. Unfortunately there are a number of people who have pounced on this opportunity.
"After the AGM vote, I went to Angela's office and asked if there were people looking to deselect Angela and they said: 'Yes, it looks like it could go that way,' although obviously her office does not want that to happen.
"But I'd like to see her defeat Corbyn if it came down to a choice of Angela or Corbyn."
The AGM had already come under fire from Eagle after homophobic comments were allegedly made about her, with Tessa Jowell suggesting the MP was derided at the meeting.
However, Kathy Runswick, chair of Wallasey Constituency Labour Party, denied that homophobic comments were made, saying: "Tessa Jowell's accusation of homophobic abuse made during her contribution in the daily politics show is untrue. There was no homophobia at the Wallasey Labour Party meeting that backed Jeremy Corbyn.
"The day after the meeting my daughter got married at Wallasey Town Hall. She and her wife are outraged at the suggestion that I would allow homophobic bullying or indeed bullying of any sort at any meeting that I attended.
"The newly elected secretary Kathy Miller campaigns on equality regularly with her son, who is gay. We have members of the LGBTQ community on the CLP executive. I was at the meeting and chaired it after I was elected. The person in the chair prior to me would not have accepted any such behaviour either. I have not spoken to him yet but I hope to soon.
"There was no homophobic abuse and if there had been, it would have been challenged. I am particularly upset by this and believe it to be another slur on ordinary Labour Party members in Wallasey."