Labour peer: Jeremy Corbyn wants to 'destroy' our party
Jeremy Corbyn wants to "destroy" Labour and turn it into the Socialist Workers Party, according to a senior peer.
Lord West, a former Labour security minister, also said the party leader was "unpleasant" and suggested he was not clever enough to understand the reasons for having a nuclear deterrent.
In an interview with The House magazine, the former First Sea Lord became the latest leading Labour figure to criticise Mr Corbyn.
The embattled leader is still clinging to his job despite the resignation of most of his frontbench, and three-quarters of his MPs voting for a motion of no confidence in him.
Former naval commander Lord West said: "It sounds to me almost as if he’s decided he wants to destroy the Labour party and set up a new party which would be more like the Socialist Workers Party. That would be a disaster for this country. Because this country needs a centre socialist party. It needs that. It does not need a Socialist Workers Party.
"I’m not even convinced now he’s a nice chap. I have to say, in leadership terms, I’m afraid I don’t think Joe Average in this country would follow him as a leader even out of curiosity. That’s the problem.
"Everyone says what a nice chap he is, but if he doesn’t understand that, I’m beginning to feel that maybe he’s not quite such a nice chap. That there’s something rather more unpleasant lurking there."
Mr Corbyn, a lifelong unilateralist, wants to overturn Labour's support for the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear submarines. A review of the party's defence policy has been put on hold following the vote to leave the EU.
Lord West Mr Corbyn and his supporters were "pushing these slightly flaky and bogus studies" to boost their anti-nuclear arguments.
He said: "They’re trying to become unilateralist through the back door. And that’s a betrayal of the British people. They’re betraying the British people.
"If you want to be unilateralist, bloody well say it. It’s a perfectly valid thing to argue for, and I have no difficulty with people arguing for it. But don’t betray the British people by pretending you don’t want to be unilateralist but actually aiming for that through the back door."
Lord West added: "I’m convinced we shouldn’t be unilateralist. I don’t think it achieves anything. It keeps us less safe. I think it’s a stupid thing to do. I’d hoped that he’d see that. But more and more I’m beginning to say, I don’t think he’s got the mental capacity to grasp some of these big issues. That’s a horrible thing to say but I don’t think he has.
"It’s too easy an option isn’t it? To stand up and say ‘I hate nuclear weapons’ and everyone cheers. Everyone hates nuclear weapons. I hate nuclear weapons. That’s bloody wet, isn’t it? It’s a wet thing to say.
"It’s like saying you hate war. Everyone hates war. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there and they don’t happen. But what he’s got to do is say what is the most important thing to be certain of the safety and security of the British people?"