Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has condemned John McDonnell for his comments at a pro-Jeremy Corbyn rally in London last night.
The Shadow Chancellor accused his fellow Labour MPs of ‘plotting and conniving’ to remove Jeremy as leader and said the only good thing about them was that ‘as plotters they are f***ing useless’.
Mr McDonnell has today stated that his comments were intended as a joke.
Tom Blenkinsop MP said:
“John McDonnell has said what he said last night was joke, if it was then it fits perfectly with Jeremy’s leadership. Unfortunately the Labour Party is the butt of that joke and everyone has stopped laughing.
“Mr McDonnell and Mr Corbyn have claimed to be in favour of straight talking and honest politics. Well, MPs have made an honest assessment of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and have been straight in expressing their concerns.
“John McDonnell should not be using the language he did to talk about colleagues or imply they are motivated by anything other than an honest assessment of Jeremy’s leadership. The fact he did so shows the contempt with which he views the majority of elected Labour MPs. That is not the attitude of a person who could ever help unite this party and I hope that Labour members will vote in the fresh leadership we need.”
Mr McDonnell’s comments followed the decision by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to allow Jeremy Corbyn on the Labour leadership ballot without the requirement to secure the support of any MPs. His challengers, including Angela Eagle, will be required to gain the support of 50 MPs.
In the build up to the decision pro-Jeremy Corbyn activists were accused of engaging in harassment and threats against NEC members and MPs, including Angela Eagle who had a brick put through her constituency office window.