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Labour coup plotters protected by media giant tied to Blairite PR firm, linked to coup

A Sky News report identifying three senior Labour Party whips as the Blairite “choreographers” of Labour opposition to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was inexplicably self-censored on Monday. But the censorship comes as little surprise given Sky News’ longstanding connections to a powerful PR firm tied to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. The firm, Portland Communications, is not only directly connected to the Labour coup plotters but had anticipated a Shadow Cabinet “mass resignation” contingency plan to oust Corbyn at least six months ago – long before the EU referendum results.
The Canary reports:
Five paragraphs identifying the Blairite ringleaders of the coup were deleted from a Sky News report minutes after being quoted in an investigation by The Canary.
The Canary reported that the individuals identified were part of a wider network of Blairite elites affiliated with the Fabian Society, who have seen Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide victory in Labour leadership elections as a direct threat to the New Labour ‘old guard’ in the party.
On Tuesday afternoon, Labour Party MPs passed a 172-40 vote of no confidence against Corbyn’s leadership of the party. Corbyn refused to resign on grounds that doing so would be unconstitutional and that he would “not betray” the Labour members who voted for him.
While many of the MPs who have risen against Corbyn’s leadership are not themselves Blairite, The Canary’sinvestigation on Monday revealed that the core instigators of the mutiny are part of a pro-Blair ‘old guard’, who have carefully orchestrated the party’s uprising against Corbyn.
Yet shortly after the publication of our story, including passages quoted from Sky News identifying core instigators of the mass resignations, Sky News updated its report with a new version of the article, in which those passages were removed.
The earlier version of the Sky News report, which has now been completely scrubbed from all published versions available online, suggested that the sudden uprising was not spontaneous, but carefully planned.
The report quoted Sky News political correspondent Sophy Ridge accusing one of Corbyn’s own whips, Conor McGinn MP, of coordinating the resignations to “try to cause maximum impact”:
Meanwhile, the party’s leaders in the Lords – Baroness Smith of Basildon, Labour leader in the Lords, and Lord Bassam, the chief whip – are likely to boycott shadow cabinet meetings while Mr Corbyn remains, a spokesman for the House of Lords said.
Former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, who resigned on Sunday, insisted the resignations were not a ‘planned coup’ against Mr Corbyn, but a reaction to the ‘seismic’ events which have shaken Westminster in recent days.
But Sky’s Senior Political Correspondent Sophy Ridge said she understood that the man choreographing the resignations is Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North.
She said: ‘He’s ringing shadow cabinet members and ministers, organising the timings and co-ordinating the resignations to try to cause maximum impact.
‘This is significant because he’s one of Jeremy Corbyn’s Whips – tasked with ensuring party discipline.’


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