Diane Abbott suggests Labour NEC members privately hostile towards Jeremy Corbyn

Posted On: 
29th July 2016

Diane Abbott has suggested Labour officials are hostile towards party leader Jeremy Corbyn behind his back.

Shadow Health Secretary Diane Abbott
PA Images

The Shadow Health Secretary said it would be “easy to guess” the kind of exchanges going on between members of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee.

And she pointed towards the email scandal in the US Democratic party, in which it was revealed ruling committee members mocked former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

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A member of Labour’s NEC accused Ms Abbott of making “wild, paranoid accusations”.

The chair of the Democratic National Committee was forced to resign this week after thousands of leaked emails between members showed the hostility towards Mr Sanders.

One exchange revealed discussion about putting out a news story criticising the organisation of the Sanders campaign.

In an article for The Times, Ms Abbott compared the treatment of leftwingers Mr Sanders and Mr Corbyn by their parties and the media.

“Both men are treated with cool disdain by their political establishments,” she wrote.

“Email leaks this week revealed how antagonistic Democratic Party big-wigs were to the Sanders campaign.

“As a result the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had to resign.

“Goodness knows what the leak of similar emails by the Labour Party would reveal. But it is easy to guess.”

An NEC source told PoliticsHome: "Given the state of the NHS, rather than making wild, paranoid accusations, Diane should be getting on with hammering Jeremy Hunt and showing she can offer effective opposition to the Tories, rather than the Labour party."

The NEC recently ruled Labour affiliates who signed up to the party less than six months ago would be unable to vote in the upcoming leadership election.

However it decided Mr Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot paper without requiring the nomination of 51 of his MPs or MEPs.

The result of the Labour leadership election, in which Mr Corbyn fights against Owen Smith to retain leadership of the party, will be announced on 24 September.


One exchange in the DNC emails showed the deputy of DNC spokesman Luis Miranda proposing a story claiming “Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess”.

But Mr Miranda rejected the idea, replying: “True, but the Chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.”

Another member questioned Mr Sanders’ religion and said if the left-winger were an atheist it could “make several points difference with my peeps”.

Following the revelation of the emails by WikiLeaks the DNC was forced to apologise to Mr Sanders.