Of course he was talking about Sadiq Khan – and anybody else from right-wing Labour who tries similar tactics to confuse voters and weaken the leaders they still can’t accept.
And John McDonnell was absolutely right to do so – as readers of This Blog will know from its article of yesterday (May 31).
I note that Khan’s spokesperson said he had been telling the world that he would campaign alongside David Cameron all the way through his election campaign, but this is the first I’ve heard of it.
It seems Labour’s ‘Remain’ campaign isn’t the only organisation having trouble getting its message out.
John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has said it discredits Labour to share a platform with Tories arguing to stay in the EU – the day after the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, appeared on stage with David Cameron.
McDonnell said it reflected badly on the party and would demotivate its supporters to see senior figures on a stage with their political opponents.
The remarks appear to refer to Khan, who won the London mayoral contest last month and decided to appear on a platform with Cameron on Monday.
A spokesman for McDonnell said: “John’s comments were not specifically addressed towards Sadiq. He was only repeating what he and other members of the shadow cabinet have said before on learning the lessons from the referendum in Scotland and campaigning on a distinct Labour message. And if anything the polling out today suggests adopting such an approach can only be helpful to achieving a Labour vote to remain on 23 June. That is why John will continue fighting hard for every vote to keep Britain in the EU and prevent a Tory Brexit.”
McDonnell, however, made it clear he thought that no Labour politicians should be on stage with Conservatives, as he gave a question and answer session on the EU in Wolverhampton.
“The Europe that the Tories want is not our Europe. Cameron went to negotiate away workers’ rights in advance of this referendum. If he could have done it, he would have done,” he said.
“If Cameron and his crew are still in power after this referendum they will continue dismantling our welfare state. They will continue to cut benefits, undermine wages and cut public service jobs. This will go on.
“Sharing a platform with them discredits us. It demotivates the very people we are trying to mobilise.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has also ruled out appearing on stage with Cameron during television debates or events.
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