Stormy away day (in central London!) for feuding Labour
A LABOUR ‘away day’ turned into civil war as the deputy leader warned that allies of Jeremy Corbyn were plotting to destroy the party.
Mr Corbyn was also mocked for choosing central London as the location of yesterday’s shadow cabinet gathering, with colleagues joking that he suffers nosebleeds if he leaves the capital.
The Labour leader and his deputy, Tom Watson, were later forced to issue a joint statement agreeing to strengthen party unity following the ‘stormy’ meeting at trade union offices in Euston.
Mr Watson had accused Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum – a hard-Left grassroots group that helped propel Mr Corbyn to the leadership – of plotting to work with the Unite union to take over the party. As a result, he was reportedly ‘laid into’ by senior figures.
In their statement, Mr Corbyn and Mr Watson later said: ‘The shadow cabinet met today to discuss Labour’s policy and election plans and had a robust and constructive discussion about the challenges and opportunities ahead. The
‘Our so-called leader’
shadow cabinet agreed on the need to strengthen party unity.’
Meanwhile Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell yesterday conceded Labour had made little progress in winning over voters since 2015.
He suggested it could take another two years for signs of improvement to emerge – doubling his previous estimate for seeing an improvement in opinion polls.
‘Over the next 18 months, 24 months, I think it will turn and we will be ready for the general election at that stage,’ Mr McDonnell told the i newspaper.
The comments appear to be a watering down of ambitions since last month, when he suggested the situation could be turned around ‘over the next 12 months’.
Mr Corbyn was last night heckled at a meeting of his own MPs, with one referring to him as ‘our so-called leader’.