Labour MPs condemn 'hit list' leaked by Jeremy Corbyn campaign

Posted On: 
14th September 2016

A furious row has erupted after Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign accidentally leaked a list of "abusive" Labour MPs.

Jeremy Corbyn's team accidentally leaked the list of 'abusive' MPs
PA Images

The New Statesman said Jess Phillips, Tristram Hunt, Tom Watson and John Woodcock were among those named as having attacked party colleagues.

Other anti-Corbyn MPs included on the list included Jamie Reed, Ian Austin and Tom Blenkinsop.

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A spokesman for Mr Corbyn was quoted demanding that his leadership rival Owen Smith "condemn the abuse instigated by his high-profile supporters".

He said: "Owen Smith's campaign has become increasingly negative, focusing on attacking Jeremy Corbyn rather than presenting a positive vision for the party and country.

"For the sake of party unity, Owen must explicitly condemn those who have threatened to split the party and tear it apart, as well as condemn the abuse instigated by his high-profile supporters. He must also make concrete commitments to doing his bit to foster party unity.

"Jeremy Corbyn has consistently spoken about his desire to unite Labour in order to take on the Tories, and committed to continuing to appoint broad-based shadow cabinets should he be re-elected as leader."

But in a major embarrassment, sources close to Mr Corbyn said the list had been leaked by a junior member of staff and was not meant for official use.

One MP on the list told PoliticsHome: "With one breath Jeremy calls for unity and with the next they publish this hit-list. I think members will be really dismayed.

"None of the MPs they're targeting has ever talked about splitting the party. The only person who has done that is John McDonnell."

Allies of Mr Corbyn were also said to be dismayed by the leak.

One told the New Statesman: "This has caused dismay and anger among Jeremy's supporters in Westminster. It is pound shop Malcolm Tucker stuff.

"On a day when Jeremy united the Labour benches over grammar schools this just gives the Tories an excuse to change the subject and point the disunity finger at Labour. It is the height of incompetence from the leadership campaign media operation."