The former Labour frontbencher accused Sir Keir Starmer of using his Remain Brexit stance to further his plan to scupper Jeremy Corbyn from his position and win over the Labour Party. She told BBC Newsnight: “You’ve got to remember that Keir had a project of his own to become the leader of the Labour Party. I blame his mother for calling him Keir.
“And I wasn’t going to work with him to forward that project.”
She added she was “suspicious” of the Labour leader as his “ambition” was fairly apparent.
She said: “I think it’s noticeable, having been Mr Remain all the way up until he got leadership of the party.
“You don’t hear much from Keir about Remain now. I think it’s fairly apparent that Keir had other motives.
“Having said that, he won the leadership election fair and square and you’ve got to respect the mandate.
“But at the time, when Jeremy was leader, it was fairly apparent that Keir had other motives.”
Sir Keir became Labour’s leader earlier this year and has since attempted to rid the party of the mould created by former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
He has made several moves to stamp-out hard-left influence, including paying out hefty sums to former employees turned whistleblowers over anti-Semitism in the party.
Despite efforts to take Labour closer to the centre-ground and appeal to members across the political spectrum, Sir Keir is facing continuous pressure from Corbynite members.
Last week, a group of MPs announced they had established their own policy research operation.
It marked a break from the mainstream party, with several of Mr Corbyn’s allies now using parliamentary office expenses to fund the Socialist Parliamentary Research Group (SPRG), according to The Times.
Steven Fielding, Professor of Political History at the University of Nottingham who specialises in the politics of the Labour Party, told Express.co.uk’s Joel Day that Sir Keir could expect more of this to come, warning of the emergence of a “ghetto hard-left” element in the party.
He said: “Even though Starmer hasn’t said anything about policies yet – yes, there will be pushback, there are currently deep suspicions on certain parts of the left.
“Len McCluskey has articulated some of those suspicions and his specific beef with the party and the reason why Unite has reduced its donations by 10 percent is because of the antisemitism thing, which I think most members would think that was odd to focus on – it’s a very hard-left, hard-Corbynite position, it’s not one that resonates with many members, even those who have respect for Corbyn.
“It kind of shows the little ghetto that the hard-left might be operating at the moment.
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“There are about 30 MPs, mostly in the Socialist Campaign Group, who rebelled against the party and voted against the ‘Spy Cops’ bill, they might cause Starmer some trouble, but not all Corbynites voted against it.
“So there are some divisions within that group.
“There will be people who will pipe up and oppose his changes, but quite what their power in the party was is much diminished.”
Mr McCluskey, Unite the Union’s General Secretary, earlier this month announced that the union would retract the party’s funding by 10 percent – around £150,000.
Published at Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:17:00 +0000