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Barbara Blake was one of three right-wing Blairite Labour candidates to stand for the ward of Seven Sisters, Haringey, north London, during the 2018 council elections.
But having been elected as a councillor she has now been expelled from Labour due to her public support for Change UK - the small anti-Corbyn group of renegade Labour and Tory MPs.
Haringey Labour Party had moved to the left prior to the council elections, replacing Blairites with many left candidates opposing the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) and austerity cuts.
The HDV gentrification scheme would have 'socially cleansed' huge swathes of the borough by pushing out working-class residents.
It would have been a tragedy if the anti-austerity fight associated with Jeremy Corbyn was not reflected by any of the candidates in that ward.
Therefore the Socialist Party decided it was essential to take part in that process and stand candidates that were opposed to all cuts.
As a result three candidates stood under the broad left Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner, against the remnants of the old-guard Claire Kober (the former council leader) regime which was associated with the HDV.
TUSC candidates warned voters that if they vote Labour in Seven Sisters ward they would effectively get a Tory.
However, many people in Haringey voted enthusiastically for Labour believing that it had changed to reflect the anti-austerity mood in Labour more broadly.
Much was made of Haringey becoming the first 'Corbynista' council.
Now the truth has been revealed and Barbara Blake's justified expulsion has confirmed what TUSC candidates said at the time. We were the real socialists not Barbara Blake and her crew.
Blake should now call a byelection and fight on her own programme of cuts and misery. If she did we are confident that she would be roundly defeated.
Anti-cuts Corbyn supporters should make sure that whoever replaces her is a real socialist committed to fighting the cuts.
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Article dated 22 May 2019
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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