Corbyn’s Labour ‘in flux’ as John McDonnell ousts more key aides in an alleged power grab

Corbyn’s Labour ‘in flux’ as John McDonnell ousts more key aides in an alleged power grab

A Labour source told The Daily Telegraph that there are now growing calls for former Guardian journalist Seamus Milne to be removed from Mr Corbyn’s office. Mr Milne currently serves as the Labour leader’s director of communications.

The warning has emerged after more than 30 members of Mr Corbyn’s team have been asked to attend meetings as part of a review into “management systems” at the leader’s office.

The review is being led by Lord Kerslake who is a long term ally of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

Lord Kerslake, who is the former head of the civil service, has advised Mr Corbyn on preparing his Government and is believed to have played a vital role in Ms Murphy’s departure.

The shock move by Mr McDonnell is an attempt to push out Mr Corbyn’s chief aides in an alleged “power grab” according to the source.

Mr McDonnell has recently become frustrated by Mr Milne and Ms Murphy who have opposed turning Labour into a Remain party.

A Labour source told The Daily Telegraph: “The second target in all of this is Seumas.

“He is probably second on the list.

“Everyone knows that the politics within the Leader’s office is Karie and Seumas versus basically everybody else.”

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However, an ally of Mr Milne said trying to remove the former Guardian journalist was “wishful thinking”.

They added: “Jeremy and Seamus are closely politically aligned. That’s why some people want to get rid of him and why they won’t be successful.”

The recent controversy within the Labour Party has led to Prime Minister Boris Johnson seizing the chance to jibe Mr McDonnell.

Mr Johnson compared Mr McDonnell to Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and his clashes with Leon Trotsky in the beginning of the Russian Revolution.

Speaking in the Commons, the Prime Minister said: “We can all see the Soviet-era expulsions that are taking place in Corbyn’s circle, as one-by-one his lieutenants are purged as Lenin purged the associates of poor old Trotsky.”

Mr Johnson made pointed to Mr McDonnell and said: “There is Lenin…as the shadow chancellor tightens his icy grip on the Labour Party.”

The dramatic shake-up comes just days after the Opposition party’s chief of staff Karie Murphy was moved to Labour HQ in Victoria, Central London from the Labour leader’s office.

The move comes after an alleged series of clashes over management and strategy.

A shadow cabinet minister also attacked Mr McDonnell and said: “I think it’s curious that a member of the House of Lords who isn’t a [party] member, doesn’t take the Labour whip, is conducting a review.

“There has been a lot of criticism of LOTO [Leader of the Opposition’s Office] for the past six or nine months. People believe it’s coming from the direction of McDonnell.”

Published at Mon, 14 Oct 2019 23:53:00 +0000