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    Cuff links featuring an image of Jeremy Corbyn in the style of Che Guevarra are seen for sale at the Labour Party's conference in Liverpool, Britain, September 24, 2018

    Topple the Tories: Labour MP Smith Calls for General Elections, General Strike

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    A Labour MP called for a general strike across the United Kingdom if general elections did not take place. The motion is the first of its kind since the 1926 general strike and has initiated fresh conflicts between party members.

    Laura Smith, Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich, rallied attendees at Momentum's ‘The World Transformed' festival in Liverpool, which runs alongside the Labour Party conference and advocates "left power both inside and outside of Parliament".  

    Smith called on her party to orchestrate the general strike to "topple this cruel and callous Tory government," if no general election takes place soon. 

    "As socialists we must strengthen our link between the party and the unions, for our strength comes from our unity and our solidarity," she told attendees. 

    "Today, we've heard calls for a true People's Vote-a general election," Smith said. 

    Smith continued: "If we can't get a general election, we should organize with our brothers and sisters in the trade unions to bring an end to our government with a general strike." 

    READ MORE: Bad Deal or No Deal Brexit: Talks Are Going Badly — Labour Party's Spokesman

    Not all party members were on board with Smith's plans. Visibly flustered Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon denied giving her a standing ovation or support.  

    "Well, that's not Labour party policy," he told talkRADIO editor Ross Kempsell. "I'm not supporting a general strike. A general strike isn't supported by the TUC, so it's a bit of a daft question, to be honest." 

    A TUC spokesperson told Sputnik: "We had a general congress 9-12 September and did not a call for a motion to have a general strike. Instead, we focused on Brexit and the future of work in Britain, including the role of automation." 

    However, Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told TUC congress attendees September 11 that Britain needed a general election "where any deal can be properly debated."  

    Labour had not taken the option of "democratic engagement" off the table, but wanted a general election because "we need, our community, our members desperately need a Labour government," McDonnell added 

    READ MORE: Labour Should Vow to Extend Brexit in Election Manifesto – UK Shadow FM

    Smith's call for a general strike is the first since May 3, 1926, where the General Council of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) organized workers after British employers locked coal miners out of their mines and upheld poor labor conditions.  

    Conservative MP Sir Douglass Hogg later passed the 1927 Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act which banned mass picketing and sympathy strikes, which Labour repealed after overtaking Westminster in 1929 and appointing the party's first prime minister, James Ramsay MacDonald.

    Related:

    Labour Should Vow to Extend Brexit in Election Manifesto – UK Shadow FM
    Remaining in EU 'Still an Option': Labour Party to 'Vote Down' May's Brexit Plan
    Bad Deal or No Deal Brexit: Talks Are Going Badly - Labour Party's Spokesman
    Labour MPs Want 2nd Brexit Vote, Corbyn Wants General Election As Talks Stall
    Tags:
    General Strike, Democratic Socialism, socialism, general election, speech, strike, festival, British Labour Party, Labour party, Laura Smith, United Kingdom, Liverpool
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