ANGRY… Unite’s Len McCluskey yesterday
The letter is being prepared amid a meltdown at the top of Labour with Mr Corbyn’s biggest union backer, Unite boss Len McCluskey, calling deputy leader Tom Watson a “****ing disgrace”. The row comes amid reports that shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey are being lined up to contest a leadership contest, with Mr Corbyn being forced to stand aside. “Dozens” of Labour peers have agreed to sign a letter reportedly being organised by former general secretary Baroness McDonagh.
It will “express strong concern” about the Labour leadership, the growth of anti-Semitism in the party and its failure to tackle the problem.
Baroness McDonagh was not available for comment last night, but it is understood the letter is to be published in a national newspaper this week.
However, the Labour leadership yesterday made clear it plans to dispute claims made in last week’s Panorama which featured revelations from former members of staff as well as accounts by Jewish activists who had endured appalling levels of anti-Semitic abuse.
A source said: “The Labour Party is making a full complaint to the BBC about the heavily slanted and inaccurate Panorama programme, which had no political balance of interviewees, invented quotes and edited emails.”
AT WAR…. Angela Rayner is lined up as the next Labour leader
Another source, who works closely with the party leadership, said the Corbyn regime is in its “end of days”. The source said: “It seems like a matter now of when he [Corbyn] goes not if.
Fallout over the anti-Semitism row intensified yesterday as allies of Mr Corbyn turned on Mr Watson, who had strongly criticised the party’s general secretary Jennie Formby after accounts aired on the Panorama documentary suggested she had tried to prevent people found guilty of anti-Semitism from being expelled or even suspended.
He wrote to Ms Formby calling for the party to publish its full submission to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s investigation into anti-Semitism claims.
He also raised allegations she had deleted emails relating to cases – an allegation Ms Formby denies.
But Ms Formby pointed out that she had been undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer at the time, claiming Mr Watson risked “exacerbating” fears in the Jewish community.
Mr McCluskey wrote on Twitter: “Attacking a woman going through chemotherapy – Tom Watson you are a ****ing disgrace.”
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry will be headline speaker at a pro-People’s Vote rally today in Boris Johnson’s constituency.
Supporters of a second Brexit referendum will gather on the Tory leadership frontrunner’s home turf to put Mr Johnson under direct pro-Remain electoral pressure.
Emily Thornberry to challenge Boris Johnson at pro-People’s Vote rally
The move cements Ms Thornberry’s status as one of Labour’s foremost champions of a referendum with an option to stay in the EU.
Other speakers at Oak Wood School in the London Borough of Hillingdon will include broadcaster Gavin Esler, Change UK’s failed candidate in the European elections,
and Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, who chairs the BMA junior doctors’ committee.
The Labour leader enjoyed some respite from his party’s internal strife yesterday at the 135th Durham miners’ gala. Around 200,000 people joined Jeremy Corbyn at the event for a parade through the city.
Mr Corbyn, who said the gala “represents the sense of togetherness that defines the Labour Party”, also vowed a Labour government would probe the Battle of Orgreave, when strikers and police clashed in 1984.
Labour’s plans for the economy would kill jobs and make it harder to fight climate change, a top Tory warned, as John McDonnell made a scathing attack on capitalism.
Opening Labour’s International Social Forum in London, the Shadow Chancellor gave his backing to pupils who walked out of classes over global warming inaction and attacked big firms.
But Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis believes Marxist Mr McDonnell’s plans would, in fact, make it harder to protect the environment.
He said: “It’s remarkable that John McDonnell is lecturing international institutions on how to run the economy, when his own plans would lead to nothing but more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs.
Along with this, Labour plans to renationalise large swathes of the economy would disrupt our efforts to tackle climate change and promote clean growth.
John McDonnell fears Labour’s plans would kill jobs
“Only the Conservatives are providing the solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future, while also ensuring that the UK takes on a global leadership role in tackling climate change.”
Mr McDonnell voiced fears that Brexit will undermine international co-operation and denounced institutions at the heart of the global economy.
He accused the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund of diminishing “people power” and failing to properly address climate change, and said multinationals had “chipped away” at the power of states to tackle the challenge.
Mr McDonnell said: “The problem is a system – capitalism – that has prioritised the extraction of profit from people and the planet, enriching a particular class of people and disempowering others.”
Demanding rapid action, he added: “We are still thinking and acting as if we haven’t just felt the hottest June ever on record.”