The audience member from Dumfries asked whether Labour is “being taken over by Momentum extremists?”
He said: “Well, after Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, it seems to have been infiltrated by the far-left, they’re there to protect him from those who are against him within the Party.
“I think the Labour Party has gone so far left it has gone off the page.
“Jeremy Corbyn to me is a Marxist, John McDonnell wouldn’t deny he was a Marxist when he was interviewed by Andrew Marr and Dianne Abbot, I don’t know where she is but I wouldn’t let her run a bath – never mind the Home Office.”
he audience laughed at the hilarious quip and gave a stormy round of applause
The audience laughed at the hilarious quip and gave a stormy round of applause.
But Labour MP for Derby North Chris Williamson rebutted the audience member’s claim.
He said: “Momentum are not extremists, absolutely not. If you look at the Labour Party now it is an exercise in democracy.
“We are now a mass movement, the Labour Party has more members than all the other parties put together by some distance. And when you say we are extremists, what is it the Labour Party is putting forward now?
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“Well one of the things is we are opposing austerity, unlike the SNP and supported by the Greens here in Scotland, but we are actually on the side of the British people.
“If you look at the opinion polls where the British people are at, the UK wants to see the utilities back in public ownership, they want to see tuition fees scrapped, they want to see the economy work for ordinary people, they want to see investment in the NHS, they want to see investment in our schools and in our education.
“We want to give people a stake in our economy, we want to build the houses people need…”
But the audience member seemed incredulous to Mr Williamson.
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He retorted: “Where is the money coming for this? How much is it going to cost to renationalise these industries?”
The former Fire and Emergency Services Minister said: “Well, it is a free ticket essentially, sir.
“Because they are revenue generating bodies aren’t they? So any cost would be met by the revenue generated.
The audience groaned as Mr Williamson repeated himself
“But take for example with the Train Operating Companies, what we said was that we would take them back into public ownership as the contracts were up for renewal.”
BBC Question Time Host David Dimbleby pressed Mr Williamson about his support for mandatory selection within Labour which he claims will change the direction of the Party and is a Momentum policy.
The Labour MP said that it was not a momentum policy but he supported it.
Mr Williamson added: “The Labour Party has never been more united. We are on the side of the British people, we want an economy that worked for everyone…”
The Labour MP insisted Momentum are not extremists
But the audience groaned and jeered.
The MP continued: “No, no, it is not being about far-left. If you are talking about being far-left sir, we support bringing the railways back into public ownership, the utilities…”
The veteran presenter interjected: “You’ve said all that.”
Mr Williamson continued: “But that’s where the British people are at.”