Labour’s civil war erupted this morning after a senior Jeremy Corbyn ally accused party bosses of trying to “quash” his leadership.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow defence secretary, said Labour’s Nation Executive Committee (NEC) has tried to rig the leadership contest to stop Mr Corbyn from getting on the ballot.
She added that the NEC wanted to “put the party’s members back in their box” because they are afraid of their support for Mr Corbyn.
Ms Thornberry confirmed she will be voting for Mr Corbyn in the upcoming election and hit out at the failed High Court bid to stop him being placed automatically on the leadership ballot papers.
She also accused some in the party of doing their “level best” to deny the flood of new members and supporters the equal chance to make their voices heard in the looming leadership contest.
In a Facebook post she writes: “Here we are now, less than a year after Jeremy’s overwhelming victory, and the party hierarchy – through decisions of the National Executive Committee – is attempting to overturn that result, quash Jeremy’s mandate, and put the party’s members back in their box.
“And they are doing so in the most naked way. I was disgusted to see the attempts to try to stop Jeremy from getting on the ballot.”
The Islington South MP also described an occasion when Tom Watson, the now deputy Labour leader, called her a “traitor”while working under Tony Blair.
“When I walked through the voting lobbies against the attempt to impose 90 days’ detention without charge in 2005, Tom Watson –then one of Tony Blair’s whips – growled at me that I was a ‘traitor’. But a traitor to who?” she said.
Her outspoken comments come after John McDonnell accused Labour officials of mounting a “rigged purge” of his supporters in a bid to disadvantage Mr Corbyn’s leadership bid.
In an extraordinary outburst against his own party the shadow chancellor, who chairs Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign, vowed to write to the General Secretary to complain about members who have been suspended.
Ms Thornberry warned the growing divide between the party hierarchy and its members could see the Labour Party repeat mistakes made under Tony Blair when the rank and file members were left “alienated, demoralised and ignored”.
She added: “As someone who believes our party and our country are best served when our elected representatives and the party membership work together, I fundamentally disagree with this attempt to take us back to the years when our members were deliberately antagonised, alienated and ignored by the people who they helped to put in power.
“I do not understand why anyone in the Labour party would want to turn their back on that membership, in the way that the party hierarchy have tried to do this summer.”
It came as Ed Balls has hit out at Jeremy Corbyn and compared his leadership style to a “leftist utopian fantasy”.
News Source TelegraphNews