Heidi Alexander, the former shadow health secretary [Image: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images].

Heidi Alexander, the former shadow health secretary [Image: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images].

Considering her actions subsequent to the events recounted here, it is hard to give Ms Alexander the benefit of the doubt.

She was the first Shadow Cabinet member to quit following the sacking of Hilary Benn on Sunday. Is it not possible that Mr McDonnell may have had suspicions about her, prior to that?

In such circumstances, it may be understandable that he would want to seek a second opinion on whether she was underperforming in her responsibilities as Shadow Health Secretary.

The fact that the group he set up never met, because Ms Alexander quit her Shadow Cabinet role, speaks volumes in that respect.

Call me a crazy conspiracy theorist if you like, but to This Writer it does not seem beyond the realms of possibility that Ms Alexander may have been trying to sabotage the Labour health platform in the run-up to the current attempted coup.

After all, those involved do not appear to have had any reluctance to hamper Labour’s operations over the last five days.

I hope I’m wrong. But I don’t think I am.

Heidi Alexander, who quit as shadow health secretary last weekend, has criticised John McDonnell’s “totally unacceptable” conduct in setting up a team of NHS policy advisers without telling her.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Alexander said: “John McDonnell invited NHS campaigners to a meeting in the Commons but didn’t invite me. I challenged him about it. I was then invited and I was shouted at by some of the attendees.”

After that meeting on 13 April, she said, “John McDonnell then invited them to form an advisory group (again not telling me). I found out about this, said it was totally unacceptable and it must not be an advisory group.”

On Thursday night, a spokesman for McDonnell said: “John agreed to meet with NHS campaigners after complaints that Heidi Alexander wasn’t doing enough to support the junior doctors and protect the NHS.

“At a fraught meeting in the House of Commons with Heidi, one of the outcomes of the meeting was to set up an advisory group. At the meeting Heidi was open to the idea but then on afterwards she changed her mind and that was the end of it. This advisory group was never formally established and never met. If John was trying to set up a secret group then why would he invite the shadow health secretary to the meetings and discuss it with her?”

Source: Labour’s Heidi Alexander attacks John McDonnell over NHS policy group | Politics | The Guardian

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