The news that Claire Kober is to stand down as leader of Haringey council is set to spur the mother of all battles inside Haringey Momentum over who gets to lead what is being billed as the “First Corbynite Council”.
In the red corner is Peray Ahmet, former Progress member and previous supporter of the controversial Haringey Development Vehicle, the plan to partner with property giant LendLease that is the immediate issue around which Momentum have mobilised.
Ahmet’s conversion to the cause of Corbynism has raised some eyebrows amongst beleagured moderates in the Haringey party, but has been warmly embraced by more pragmatic members of Momentum, including national vice-chair Emina Ibrahim, a fellow councillor.
But in the deeper red corner is Noah Tucker, who no one has ever accused of ideological compromise. Tucker featured heavily in a recent, and disputed, Sunday Times expose on Haringey after he defended the Assad regime on a now deleted blogsite, “21st century socialism”.
So toxic is Tucker’s reputation among some of his fellow councillors that they leave the room when he speaks in meetings. Last year he opposed the council adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance antisemitism definition, and wrote a Facebook post in 2016 defending Jackie Walker, saying allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party were “part of an orchestrated campaign” to “undermine and isolate the labour leadership in preparation for an internal party coup against Jeremy Corbyn”.
Tucker’s politics bare a very close similarity to those of key Corbyn advisers Seumas Milne and Andrew Murray and comments from him glorifying the military exploits of the Red Army in the Great Patriotic War can be found scattered across various left wing websites.
Tucker’s appeal is to those who think that Britain’s first “Corbyn Council” has to be more than just a slightly more left wing version of what went before but a decisive break with the compromises of the last thirty years.