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1985: Kinnock moves against Militant
The Liverpool district Labour Party has been suspended by its national leadership.

The party executive has ordered a full inquiry into the Labour Council after allegations that the revolutionary socialist group Militant Tendency was operating within it.

Critics of Militant have said the faction was trying to take over the local party and use it to spread its Trotskyite views.

They're going to spend a lot of time examining their own navel
Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner
But Liverpool councillors have denied any wrong-doing and said they should be held up as an example to other Labour districts around the country.

The decision was taken after a seven-hour meeting of the Labour executive and has divided the party's MPs.

Labour leader Neil Kinnock said there had been serious complaints made about the council and told the BBC the job of the inquiry was to follow up these complaints.

Sheffield councillor and executive member David Blunkett said it was a rational and reasonable way to progress which was in the interest of Labour and the people of Liverpool.

But Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner argued that investigating the council diverted attention away from the Tories and the "class enemy".

"They're going to spend a lot of time examining their own navel," he said.

Threats and intimidation

Council deputy-leader Derek Hatton - who has been accused of being a Militant loyalist first and Labour member second - said Liverpool district Labour was a "fighting, campaigning party".

And he denied allegations that workers and party members who disagreed with controlling groups on the council had been subject to threats and intimidation.

But Mr Kinnock - who is believed to have led calls for an investigation - said Militant's future was "very bleak and very short term".

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Liverpool council deputy leader Derek Hatton
Derek Hatton: accused of putting Militant first


In Context
Derek Hatton was expelled from the Labour Party in June 1986.

Labour's national executive made the decision to ban him as a result of his Militant Tendency membership and because the investigation had accused him of manipulating local party rules.

The radical socialist was later tried in court for corruption and fraud but was acquitted of all charges.

Mr Hatton left politics and has since tried his hand at public relations, TV and radio presenting, pantomime and after-dinner speaking.

Neil Kinnock's triumph over Militant opened the way for a reformed New Labour and election to government for the first time in 18 years in 1997.

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