Leslie, who has been a persistent critic of Jeremy Corbyn over economic policy, Brexit and national security issues, said the party was no longer a broad church but dominated by supporters of the leader who were completely intolerant of people with views different to their own.
Referring to the Corbyns speech at the Labour confernce in Liverpool on Wednesday, Leslie said in an article for the The Observer: Jeremy Corbyn claimed this week that the Labour party should foster a culture of tolerance. But those acting in his name do the precise opposite.
Read more The reality is that we are no longer that broad church and with every no confidence motion or change of selection rules, the party becomes narrower.
No, Labour arent six points ahead in the polls either
Such tactics are familiar from the hard left of the past. Momentum is the Militant for the digital age. What do they expect the public to conclude, if Labour continues to push out people on the centre left like me while readmitting the likes of Derek Hatton?
The rule change, which was agreed at last weeks Labour Party conference in Liverpool, will make it easier to deselect sitting MPs at any point during a parliament. It was widely expected to put moderates at a disadvantage given the memberships pro-Corbyn stance.
Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool council, claimed last week to have rejoined the Labour party 33 years after being expelled by the then leader, Neil Kinnock for belonging to the Militant Tendency. He caused a national outcry in the 1980s by setting an illegal council budget and was denounced at the 1985 Labour conference for using taxis to send redundancy notices to thousands of council workers.
McDonnell is mad but Labour are asking the right questions. The Tories need to respond
Leslie is the latest in a growing list of Labour MPs to have lost confidence votes in their constituency parties. The others to have fallen foul of their local parties are the the anti-EU MPs Frank Field and Kate Hoey, and Corbyn critics Gavin Shuker and Joan Ryan.
While the votes of no confidence carry no official force in the party, changes in the partys rules approved at the conference last week now make it easier for local party members to deselect their MPs. Some senior MPs in the party now fear as many as a third of Labour MPs – those who have criticised Corbyn in the past, and those who tried to oust him from office in 2016 – could be deselected before the next general election.
If Tories need a rallying cry Corbyn has provided it
Louise Regan, chair of the Nottingham East Labour Party, said, after the vote on Friday night : We have overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence in Chris Leslie the MP. But actually our biggest focus is to go out tomorrow campaigning because what we want is to elect a Labour government.
Other centre left MPs quickly came out in Leslies support. Ryan said on Twitter: Disgrace that Chris Leslie is next victim of purge with no confidence motion. He is a brilliant MP (and) has been key to opposing damaging Brexit and pursuing Peoples Vote. We certainly have confidence in him in PLP!
Leslie says in his article says activists should be focusing on stopping a Brexit that would be hugely damaging to his constituents and the country, rather than purges against MPs.
To those who promoted the motion on Friday, all I would say is that when the country is ploughing towards Brexit which will hurt households, local businesses and our public services, I do not understand the desire to waste time and energy on my loyalty to the Labour Party Leader.
He adds: Ever since I joined Labour 32 years ago as a school pupil, provoked by the Thatcher governments neglect that had left my local comprehensive school classroom literally falling down, Ive sought to champion better public services for those who need them most – whether as a local councillor or Government Minister. I have never hidden my politics including at the last election. No one in Nottingham East could have been in any way confused about my policy positions and areas of disagreement with the current Leadership.
I can scarcely believe the nation has reached this pass but we may have to rely on the novelist JK Rowling as our last line of defence against the forward march of the hard left. The valiant She Who Must Be Named, who has sold 500m copies of the Harry Potter books and spawned a £5bn-grossing film series, may turn out to be the only fire-breathing slayer of Corbynism left on this cursed island of ours.
This is not because of the spirited battle the novelist is mounting against critics who have accused her of racism over the casting of a South Korean actress, Claudia Kim, in the Fantastic Beasts sequel as Nagini, Voldemorts pet snake, making Kim the submissive creature of an evil white…