Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team accused Owen Smith of being the ‘real disunity candidate’ [Image: Sky News/PA].

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team accused Owen Smith of being the ‘real disunity candidate’ [Image: Sky News/PA].

When I first heard that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team had issued a list of abusive MPs, I wanted a copy – to see how their list compares with my own.

Having heard a little more about it, however, it seems clear that it is a letter to the fabled Labour ‘compliance unit’, reporting party members who have publicly broken the rules against abusive behaviour towards other members.

To be honest, I’m surprised the list is limited to only 14 MPs!

Also: Issued by mistake? I don’t think so!

Now the list of names – and offences – is out in the public domain, all the claims can be checked and verified (unlike those made by the ‘compliance unit’ which only issues extremely vague explanations and may be in breach of certain rules and regulations, if not actual laws, by doing so) and appropriate action taken.

One wonders, as the information was in the public domain already, why the ‘compliance unit’ had not taken the requisite steps on its own initiative.

It is welcome to see Owen Smith criticised – after all the times Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of allowing abuse to continue – of failing to tackle his own supporters’ inappropriate behaviour.

Once again we see “the accusers are the abusers”, as someone cleverer than This Writer described it. Owen Smith even tried to use it against Mr Corbyn in the last leadership hustings, on Sky News, to stir up division but Corbyn wasn’t having any of it.

As for those who were named – the MPs who have already complained haven’t got a leg to stand on and I’m surprised the list isn’t much, much longer.

Neil Coyle, for example, abused Jeremy Corbyn by claiming he had presided over the “Farage-ification” of the Labour Party. Now he is complaining about “trial by troll“. Forget it, Mr Coyle! It isn’t trolling if you did what is claimed.

John Woodcock tweeted that Jeremy Corbyn was a “f**king disaster at PMQs” back in March (if that were true then, oh, haven’t times changed!) and quickly deleted the message – but it was caught by the mainstream media nonetheless and members of his own electorate launched a petition calling for his deselection – months before that became an issue in the leadership election.

Now he’s saying a list pointing out this abusive behaviour is “shabby” and is complaining that it “targets colleagues for more abuse”.

Isn’t that exactly what he was doing when he wrote about Mr Corbyn, all those months ago – inviting others to abuse the Labour leader alongside him?

I’m sure we can expect more of this whining from the others – I’ve only checked those mentioned in the Guardian news report.

As for the claim that the MPs mentioned are on a “deselection list”: Their future is not a matter for Mr Corbyn or his team. It is for Labour Party members in each constituency to decide whether their sitting MP is representing them in a sufficiently courteous and statespersonlike manner.

In Mr Woodcock’s case, alas, considering his constituents are already petitioning for his removal, an apology may be too little, too late.

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team has issued a list singling out 14 Labour MPs including deputy leader Tom Watson who it claims have abused the leader and his allies, triggering a new row in the party.

Corbyn’s team said the list was sent out by mistake by a junior staff member, but the leader later appeared to stand by the substance of the allegations, saying all the remarks had been made on the record.

In the release, Owen Smith, the challenger for the Labour leadership, was accused of being the “real disunity candidate”, who has failed to tackle abuse meted out by his own supporters.

The list, obtained by Press Association, highlighted the behaviour of a number of Labour MPs, including Jess Phillips for telling Corbyn’s ally Diane Abbott to “f**k off”, John Woodcock for dismissing the party leader as a “f**king disaster”, and Tristram Hunt for describing Labour as “in the s**t”.

Watson was highlighted for calling the grassroots Corbyn campaign Momentum a “rabble”.

The others identified were Ian Austin, Neil Coyle, Ben Bradshaw, Frank Field, Anna Turley, Jamie Reed, Karl Turner, Stephen Kinnock and Tom Blenkinsop.

Source: Corbyn’s team issues list of MPs who ‘undermined leader’ | Politics | The Guardian


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