Liz McInnes MP [Image: Manchester Evening News].

Liz McInnes MP [Image: Manchester Evening News].

Liz McInnes isn’t the latest Labour MP to trash-talk Jeremy Corbyn but her argument has come under some scrutiny recently, so let’s examine it.

Ms McInnes seems to be what Tony Benn famously called a “weathercock”.

She didn’t support Mr Corbyn when he stood for the Labour leadership last year, but was happy to do so after he won.

She didn’t support the motion of ‘no confidence’ in him, either – but was happy to resign with the rest of the ‘Moderebels’ after it went against him, despite claiming to have been “furious” that a rebellion was taking place when Labour should have been attacking the Tories over the EU referendum.

And she didn’t blame Corbyn for the referendum result, either.

This appears to be a very confused person, sending out an extremely mixed message.

Yet she seems happy to complain about “a mixed message from the Labour Party because a minority of our MPs had chosen to appear on platforms with the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson”.

Perhaps her most confused statement is that Mr Corbyn must go because he cannot “lead the party in Parliament” due to the rebellious 171 Labour MPs whose actions she has deplored… despite the fact that he has the confidence of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members, many of whom are perfectly capable of replacing the rebels and would be quite happy to do so!

The problem is with MPs who sit under the Labour banner but refuse to support the policies cherished by the wider Labour Party.

If Ms McInnes prefers to side with them, rather than sort her story out, then she should expect no better treatment from the membership than the rest of them.

And that’s exactly what it seems she’ll get. Here’s one of her own constituents, who goes by the delightful Twitter handle, ‘Wobbly Sausage’:

160809 Wobbly Sausage on Liz McInnes

Heywood and Middleton Labour Party doesn’t need a “weathercock”, according to ‘Wobbly Sausage’; it needs a “signpost” like Mr Corbyn and his supporters – someone who won’t bend with the prevailing wind but will hold to their principles.

Ms McInnes says such people are “putting their own interests ahead of the party”. If that’s really the case, perhaps she’d like to explain why so many party members are absolutely delighted with Mr Corbyn and seem poised to propel him back into the leadership with an increased mandate?

Perhaps Ms McInnes would like to try putting herself up for re-selection by her own constituency party and see how well she manages?

Although I hadn’t supported Jeremy in the leadership contest, when he was elected by an overwhelming majority I spoke with him and told him that he had my support. His large mandate from members and supporters had given him the right to lead our party, and it was important to give him the opportunity to prove himself up to the job.

Following the referendum result, I learnt of the motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn because of his handling of the Remain campaign. I was furious. At a time when as a Labour Party we should have been taking the Government to task over the fallout from a referendum which they had called, we had instead chosen to create divisions amongst our own party.

I didn’t blame Jeremy for the Brexit vote and I still don’t. I actually agreed with his message that the EU isn’t perfect, but that we were better off remaining members with the ability to influence from within, rather than standing outside with no influence and facing an uncertain future.

I said that in my opinion, the people of the UK were receiving a mixed message from the Labour Party because a minority of our MPs had chosen to appear on platforms with the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, prominently on TV hustings, and one even on a boat with Nigel Farage during the ridiculous Thames flotilla. It’s not surprising, given these antics, that the public were confused about Labour’s message.

I voted against the motion of no confidence in Jeremy’s leadership. However, 172 of my colleagues, 80% of the Parliamentary Labour Party, from all wings of the party, voted for it. I fully expected Jeremy to stand down because of such an overwhelming result. If I had received a vote of no confidence of that magnitude as a Union Rep, or as a Councillor, then I would have stepped aside. I would have recognised the situation as being totally unworkable and I would have accepted with a heavy heart that it was time to go and let someone else take things forward.

It came as a massive surprise to me to see Jeremy refusing to go. It made no sense to me that having had it confirmed that he was unable to lead an effective opposition in Parliament, that he still chose to remain as Leader, knowing that he could only be a totally ineffective leader. The job description of the Leader of the Labour Party is to lead the party in Parliament and it had been very forcefully pointed out to him that he was unable to do his job.

I could not understand Jeremy’s reaction. His position was untenable yet he was refusing to go. I had no choice other than to resign from my shadow ministerial role. I could no longer serve a leader who appeared to be putting his own interests ahead of the party.

Source: It’s time to unite behind Owen – Liz McInnes MP


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