Jeremy Corbyn with Tom Watson, among others, at the Labour party conference in Liverpool [Image: Peter Nicholls/Reuters].

Jeremy Corbyn with Tom Watson, among others, at the Labour party conference in Liverpool [Image: Peter Nicholls/Reuters].

Despite the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has retained the Labour leadership with an increased majority, his opponents in the Parliamentary Labour Party are still trying to stir up opposition with lies and – yes – abuse.

Accusations that Corbyn is supporting deselection of dissenting MPs (he has nothing to do with such processes), that he supports anti-Semitism in the party (he has opposed any kind of racial or sectarian prejudice throughout his career), that he encourages abuse and discourages democracy are flying thick and fast, and they have one thing in common.

They are all false. The people putting forward these claims are liars.

And if Hilary Benn, Ruth Smeeth and Yvette Cooper want to oppose Mr Corbyn’s policies, in the face of support for him from their own constituents, then it won’t be his fault if they are deselected and kicked out of Parliament.

Because the other side of this is that, when they say Jeremy Corbyn must not dictate what they can and cannot say or do, they must also agree that he cannot dictate what the mass of the membership does either.

I reckon at least 400,000 people in the Labour Party are absolutely furious at the noises coming out of these windbags.

If they want to oppose Mr Corbyn, they should have the decency (if they can remember what that is) to quit the Labour Party and do it from outside, where their attitudes belong.

Democracy has spoken. They simply weren’t listening.

Hostilities resumed in the battle for the soul of the Labour party at its conference in Liverpool on Sunday as Jeremy Corbyn’s critics insisted they would not be silenced, just a day after he won a convincing victory over leadership challenger, Owen Smith.

Corbyn has repeatedly called for unity but has infuriated some MPs by refusing to sign up to proposals for elections to the shadow cabinet, which some believe would give them a mandate to return to the frontline.

Corbyn wants to postpone discussion of the plans until a “democracy day” in November, which will also consider how to open up policymaking to members. He also refused to rule out deselection for dissenting MPs, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the “vast majority” of MPs had nothing to fear.

Centrist MPs packed into a rally for the group Progress near the conference centre and, to cheers, told the room that they would protect MPs and councillors against the threat of deselection. Some claimed that Corbyn’s repeated calls for unity were actually a demand for “silence”.

At a separate rally, organised by Labour First, Angela Eagle, the former leadership candidate and minister, accused Corbyn’s supporters of allowing a culture of abuse of MPs and Labour party staff which could lead to a form of “populist authoritarian rule”.

A succession of speakers at the Labour First fringe meeting, including Hilary Benn, Ruth Smeeth and Yvette Cooper, promised to oppose the policies and practices of supporters of Corbyn just a day after the Labour leader was re-elected.

In a rare intervention since being sacked by Corbyn as shadow foreign secretary, Benn urged Labour First supporters not to rise to abuse on social media from their opponents.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn critics will not be silenced despite unity calls | Politics | The Guardian


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