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Sat, 30 May 2020

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By Hft
By Dods General Election Hub 2019

EXCL Lord Mandelson accuses Labour officials behind leaked anti-semitism report of trying to 're-write history'

EXCL Lord Mandelson accuses Labour officials behind leaked anti-semitism report of trying to 're-write history'

Lord Mandelson was a key architect of the New Labour project.

3 min read

A leaked report which blames former Labour officials opposed to Jeremy Corbyn of hampering his efforts to tackle anti-semitism and sabotaging the party's 2017 election campaign is "an attempt to re-write history", according to Lord Mandelson.

The leading Blairite said the 860-page document "offers a very partial picture of the culture and breakdown that enveloped Labour as a result of the Corbyn leadership".

A fresh civil war has engulfed the party since the dossier, thought to have been drawn up as allies of Mr Corbyn, was revealed by Sky News last weekend.

It revealed an extensive cache of WhatsApp messages between senior party officials - including  former general secretary Lord McNicol - in which they made derogatory remarks about the former Labour leader, his aides and frontbench allies.

New leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy, Angela Rayner, have launched an independent inquiry into how the report was drawn up, its contents and the manner in which it was leaked.

Supporters of Mr Corbyn have leapt on the report's findings as proof that he was fatally undermined by those on the right of the party.

But speaking to The House magazine, Lord Mandelson rejected that analysis.

He said: "The report leaked the other weekend, into the party’s internal workings, I regard as an attempt to rewrite history. It offers a very partial picture of the culture and breakdown that enveloped Labour as a result of the Corbyn leadership.

"I don’t think it reflects a factional dispute; I think it reflects the state of the Labour Party that was an abandonment of the party’s effective internal working and election-winning capability, which I lay directly at the door of Jeremy Corbyn.

"A lot of the party’s current staffing were brought in to reflect the sectarianism of Corbyn’s
leadership. They were appointed not to serve the party as a whole, but to serve him, his cronies,
and the very narrow ideology which they advanced."

The former Cabinet minister also gave Sir Keir a strong endorsement, saying it was the first time in a decade that Labour had been led by someone who looked like a potential Prime Minister.

He said: "It doesn’t win the next election in itself, but it is the obvious place to start.

"He’s created a whole new frontbench in his own image; competent, non-factional, and electorally ambitious. The composition of the new Shadow Cabinet has completely redefined Labour away from its recent past.

"But Keir has a big challenge on his hands, which we didn’t have when Blair came to power in
1994, and that is a party machine that has become very severely run down, and senior staff who
are directly implicated in the hollowing out of Labour’s internal working and democratic procedures,
and their tolerance of anti-Semitic racism in the party.

"This requires a complete change in culture, quite apart from anything else, and zero tolerance of
such racism in the party, in both its membership and its staff."

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