‘Call off the dogs and fight this Tory Brexit’: Labour MP Chuka Umunna launches attack Corbyn
‘Call off the dogs’: Chuka Umunna calls on Jeremy Corbyn to put a stop to purge of moderate Labour MPs by far-left activists after a vote of no confidence against two members
- At a speech in north London, Umunna leapt to the defence of moderate MPs
- It comes after no confidence votes to Labour’s Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker
- Umunna urged Corbyn and party leadership to fight against Conservatives
- Comes amid anti-Semitism row that plagued Labour throughout the summer
Jeremy Corbyn has been told to ‘call off the dogs’ and stop centre-left members being driven out of the Labour Party after two MPs lost votes of no confidence this week.
Former frontbencher Chuka Umunna used his speech in north London this morning to leap to defence of Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker, along with other ‘moderates’ in the Parliamentary Labour Party, who are being targeted by hard-line socialists.
The Europhile MP highlighted what he sees as a ‘clear and present danger’ of other moderate left-wing voices being run out of the party – and warned Corbyn to stop using internal divisions as an excuse not to fight against Brexit.
Chuka Umunna has called on the Labour leadership to be stronger in its fight against Brexit, and bring an end to the ‘purge’ of moderate Labour MPs
On Thursday, Labour Friends of Israel chairwoman Joan Ryan, a former minister under Tony Blair, and Luton South MP Gavin Shuker, both lost votes of no confidence in their constituencies on Thursday.
And in July this year, Frank Field accused his local party of trying to ‘misrepresent’ his views after he lost a vote of no confidence against him after he voted with the government on a key piece of Brexit legislation.
He resigned from the party earlier this week, after he claimed Labour had become a ‘force for anti-Semitism’ and allowed a ‘culture of nastiness, bullying and intimidation’ to develop.
In a speech to the centre-left group Progress, Mr Umunna said MPs are being targeted for standing up for zero tolerance of racism.
He said: ‘More motions such as this are expected by colleagues.
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‘My message to our leadership: it is within your power to stop this so call off the dogs and get on with what my constituency, one of the most diverse communities in the nation, demands we do – without equivocation, fight this Tory Brexit. That is where all our efforts should be.’
Last week, the founder of the hard-left Momentum pressure group warned up to 30 Labour MPs could be deselected if their attitude towards Corbyn remained ‘hostile’.
Jon Lansman, who is Jewish, warned there may be a ‘fight’ if thy continue to fight against Corbyn amid the anti-Semitism crisis which has torn the party apart throughout the summer.
He said: ‘As long as there are perhaps between 12 or 25 or 30 people who are very hostile, who are just waiting for Jeremy to go so they can turn the clock back, then…we’ll keep having that fight.’
Jeremy Corbyn has come under criticism for his handling of the anti-Semitism row which has plagued the party. Pictured: Corbyn at Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester, yesterday
While no names were mentioned, notable Corbyn critics include Wes Streeting, Dame Margaret Hodge, Ian Austin and Umunna himself.
Umunna also warned Corbyn it would be a ‘complete betrayal’ of the party’s values to ‘act as a bystander and wave through this disastrous Brexit’ and called for it to back a referendum on the final deal.
Earlier this week, Tony Blair attacked Corbyn’s leadership of Labour and questioned whether it could even be ‘taken back’ by moderates.
The former Prime Minister sparked anger among supporters of Corbyn by stating Labour had become a ‘different party’ which he hoped is not ‘lost’.
Labour MP Joan Ryan lost a vote of no confidence from her party constituents
A number of Labour MPs have been vocal of their criticism of Corbyn over his handling of the anti-Semitism row, which has been rumbling on thoughout summer.
A number of MPs have put themselves at odds with their constituents, as made evident by the votes of no confidence in Gavin Shuker and Joan Ryan.
Mr Corbyn was in Leicester on Friday to outline Labour’s plans for the water industry.
When told that Mr Blair sees him as an ‘existential threat’ to the party he said: ‘I’ve been in the Labour party all my life. I am a socialist. I am determined to see a fairer and more equal society for everybody.
Iran’s Press TV managed to film inside the event, where journalists were not allowed in
‘That’s what the Labour party exists for.’
Mr Blair had said his associates ‘feel that the Labour Party’s lost, that the game’s over. I’m kind of hoping they’re not right’.
It prompted Jon Lansman, founder of the Corbynite Momentum movement to say on Twitter that Labour would ‘never’ return to the former PM’s policies and he ‘was never in the right party’.
However, Lord Blunkett, a former Home Secretary and leading figure of the Blair era, warned that the party faced ‘irrelevance’ unless there was a rethink of the ‘Corbyn project’.
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