Labour MP accuses Jeremy Corbyn of indulging in ‘global conspiracy theories’
Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on foreign policy issues is leaving Labour as a ‘Marmite’ party, MP Stephen Kinnock will claim today.
In an outspoken attack on his party’s leader, Mr Kinnock is set to accuse Mr Corbyn of seeing the NATO alliance as a “warmongering junta” and refusing to blame Russia for the Salisbury poisoning in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Speaking at a book launch in Westminster today, the Aberavon MP will say: “Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis and initial reluctance to believe the evidence that Russia was behind the Salisbury poisoning each point to deeper concerns about the so called ‘Hard Left’ worldview that is held by a significant minority in our party.
"We need to eradicate the belief that any enemy of Western capitalism is a friend of ours, that the world is run by a cabal of Jewish financers, and that NATO is a warmongering junta."
He will warn: "These views are alienating swathes of voters across the country, not least in our heartlands, where Communitarian values of localism, community, patriotism, pragmatism and realism clash directly with the Hard Left’s global conspiracy theories."
In the wake of the Salisbury attack, Mr Corbyn - who will face the latest meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party tonight - condemned the use of nerve agents on the streets of Britain as “barbaric and beyond reckless”.
But he warned the Government not to "rush way ahead of the evidence” by pointing the finger at the Kremlin without a full investigation, and said "Russian mafia-like groups" living in Britain could have been responsible.
Last week Mr Corbyn vowed to "support any reasonable action to being those responsible to justice, and to take further action against Russia for its failure to cooperate with this investigation" into the attack.
But Mr Kinnock will warn that the Labour leader's foreign policy outlook risks undermining the support he has gained from "university educated, urban, highly mobile" voters through his "compassionate, anti-austerity politics".
"The choice for my party is simple: ditch the conspiracy theories or continue being ‘love us or hate us’ marmite Labour," the MP will say.
Mr Kinnock is part of the so-called 'Spirit of Britain' group of Labour MPs whose members include Dan Jarvis, Justin Madders and Anna Turley.
In a new book, the group floats a string of policy proposals that they believe will help Labour win over voters in its traditional heartlands.
They include new 'adult education funds' for people who choose not to go to university, and four government-funded training days a year for every worker.
The group is also calling for councils to be given fresh powers to block the foreign ownership of second homes and new immigration restrictions to stop employers from hiring EU workers on less than the living wage for over-25s.
The intervention from the group of MPs comes after a bitter spat between Labour MP Chuka Umunna and members of the Shadow Cabinet over his demand that Jeremy Corbyn "call off the dogs" and defend centrist MPs.
Mr Umunna, a frequent critic of the Labour leader, said some MPs were being "targeted systematically" and faced a "clear and present danger" of deselection by party members.
But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said it was was "unacceptable" to refer to party members as "dogs".
He hit back: "They are the people who go out and deliver the leaflets, who canvas, who get Labour MPs elected and who secure a Labour government that will transform the lives of our country."
The Labour frontbencher told Mr Umunna: "Stop throwing yourself in front of TV cameras, inventing stories and get out there and start campaigning for a Labour government."
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