The campaign to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour leadership has placed itself firmly in the playground with the claim that he threatened to settle a dispute by ringing an MP’s dad.
Read through Conor McGinn’s allegations (below and in the source article) and you’ll see that none of his allegations are substantiated by factual evidence. There is no record of the content of the call he allegedly received from the Whips’ Office and he does not say how “it transpired” that Mr Corbyn was going to phone his dad. How can we believe him?
Nobody ever phoned his father and the only evidence is hearsay.
Mr Corbyn has already denied the allegation.
Mrs Mike, on hearing this story, said Jeremy Corbyn should start recording all his work-related conversations – until I pointed out that this is exactly what ex-president Richard Nixon did, and comparisons with disgraced, paranoid Nixon would be unwelcome.
But it cuts both ways. There really is no evidence to support Mr McGinn’s claim.
In any case, why would Mr Corbyn be offended by a silly allegation that he needed to reach out to “traditional Labour voters” when that is exactly the basis of the Labour leader’s appeal? What, exactly, does Mr McGinn think a “traditional” Labour voter is?
More interesting than any of Mr McGinn’s fairy tale is the allegation that he was the co-ordinator of the on-the-hour resignations of shadow cabinet members after Hilary Benn was sacked, on June 26.
This Writer is following up Mr McGinn’s allegation, to ascertain what evidence exists to support it.
If it is true, then he clearly has an axe to grind against Mr Corbyn, and none of his story can be taken at face value.
In May, during an interview with The House Magazine, I outlined my views on a range of issues, including the need for Labour to reengage with our working class base. I mentioned Jeremy in this interview only once, when I respectfully suggested that he had a challenge to reach out beyond his comfort zone and his own constituency to traditional Labour voters across the country.
I was informed during a telephone call from the Whips Office that Jeremy, on seeing these news reports, had initially asked for my resignation and then considered sacking me, but subsequently reconsidered and through his media spokesperson he wanted me to apologise and retract my comments. I refused to do this. I did, however, text Jeremy to make clear that there was no offence intended in what I said, and reiterated that our friendship was important to me and that I was proud of the campaigning we had done together. I asked to meet him on my return to Parliament.
It transpired that Jeremy, in deliberations about how to respond to my interview, had said that he intended to ring my father to discuss it with him and ask him to speak to me about it. The Leader of the Labour Party was proposing to address an issue with one of his own MPs by ringing his Dad. Jeremy does not know my father so I can only presume that because of the much-publicised fact that my father was a Sinn Féin councillor, Jeremy felt that they would share a political affinity and was proposing to use that to ask my father to apply pressure on me. Thankfully, others dissuaded Jeremy from taking this course of action. The call was not made, and it would not have been well received.
When I watched Jeremy’s interview on Newsnight last night, I am afraid I could no longer tolerate the hypocrisy of him talking about a kinder, gentler politics when I knew for a fact that he had proposed using my family against me in an attempt to bully me in to submission because he didn’t like something I said. That is why I have reluctantly and sadly chosen to make this information public now.
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