Union boss tells Labour moderates to quit if they object to Corbynista winning leader race
UNION baron Len McCluskey told moderate Labour MPs to quit the party now if they object to a Corbynista candidate winning its leadership race. Unite’s general secretary dismissed critics of Rebecca Long Bailey, a close ally of the outgoing leader, and said “good riddance” to anyone who leaves if she wins.
Labour: Union publicising support ‘was wrong’ says McCluskey
Mr McCluskey, whose union is Labour’s biggest donor, said it was “disgraceful” that centrists objected to the shadow business secretary taking over at the top. “Now if people haven’t learnt that the British electorate do not like a divided party and want to continue the divisions after this leadership election, then frankly they would be better to clear out now rather than mess us about,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. He said “good riddance” to those who would rather quit than serve under Ms Long-Bailey, who Unite has endorsed.
Len McCluskey urges moderate Labour MPs to quit party in protest of Corbynista candidate
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr McCluskey acknowledged Labour’s response to anti-Semitism allegations could have been better.
“I’m absolutely convinced that there were those individuals who opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s election right from the beginning, used the anti-Semitism issue – which I think is quite despicable that they did this on such an important subject – to undermine Corbyn, there’s no doubt about that.”
Ms Long-Bailey and rivals Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry continued their campaign yesterday with a leadership debate in Nottingham. Ms Thornberry pleaded with members to ask their constituency parties to back her after she failed to win the crucial union support needed to make it through to the final stage.
Unless she wins endorsements from at least 33 local party groups she will be kicked out of the race.
Emily Thornberry failed to win union support needed to make it through final leadership debate
Ms Nandy is already through to the final round and Ms Long-Bailey is expected to make it into the vote.
Frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer did not take part in yesterday’s debate because his mother-in-law is critically ill in hospital after a serious accident. The shadow Brexit secretary will resume campaigning today with a speech in London calling for a federal system to dramatically redistribute power.
Ahead of the event, he said: “The status quo is not working. People are crying out for more control, power and say over their own lives and local communities. This can’t be delivered by tinkering around the edges or with short-term fixes.
“We need to end the monopoly of power in Westminster and spread it across every town, city, region and nation of the United Kingdom. We have to end the status quo and put power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of the people.”
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