EXCL Labour MPs hit back at Kate Osamor after she accused them of 'neglecting' seats

Posted On: 
13th March 2017

Angry Labour MPs condemned Shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor tonight after she claimed the party had "neglected" many of its heartlands.

Kate Osamor has angered many of her Labour MP colleagues.
PA Images

The close ally of Jeremy Corbyn also demanded that her colleagues should be "knocking on doors, at least once a week, for an hour" in their constituencies.

But her comments, in an interview with the Huffington Post, were criticised by a number of MPs at tonight's meeting of the parliamentary Labour party.

Shami Chakrabarti condemned after she misses PLP for drink with Diane Abbott

Jeremy Corbyn condemned by PLP boss over Shadow Cabinet election talks

'Remember history': Neil Kinnock's speech to the PLP - full transcript and recording

Ms Osamor said: "Where Labour has gone wrong, she says, is to overly commit to a strategy of looking after our marginal seats at the expense of those with bigger majorities.

"That has translated into us now becoming vulnerable. The bottom line is if you neglect something it will eventually turn on you."

She Mr Corbyn should be putting pressure on his MPs to work their seats as hard as he does.

"Jeremy is out in his own constituency. He still knocks on doors. If you are not doing that. You have to recognise that that’s going to go against you. 

“If I was an MP for 20 years, I might not be going out all the time. Jeremy has been an MP for over 20 years, and he does knock on the doors.

"What he needs to do is to tell people: ‘That’s what I do’. That’s where I would criticise him and say to him: ‘Jeremy, you do it, so you tell everyone they need to do it’. If they don’t do it. Then they must take some responsibility."

The Edmonton MP added: "We have neglected many areas. So now we need a local person to fight for our local seats. It’s no longer we have safe seats. We don’t have safe seats anymore. We have seats we need to protect. We have to recognise Scotland. We have to look at our heartlands and say: ‘How are they are going? How have they been treated'?"

But at the PLP meeting in the Commons, which Ms Osamor did not attend, she came in for criticism from Kevan Jones, Helen Jones and Ben Bradshaw.

One source told PoliticsHome: "People were saying we have really important local election coming up and she is effectively talking down everywhere we have Labour councillors and run things, as well as the local MPs."


Meanwhile, Labour's only Scottish MP, Ian Murray, hit out at Mr Corbyn - who was not the meeting - for saying at the weekend that a second Scottish referendum was "absolutely fine".

Quoting the former Labour MP Don Dixon, who died last month, Edinburgh South MP Mr Murray said: "If you're going to say something, make sure it's better than silence. I suggest that the leadership of the party take that on as a strong policy."

It was also confirmed that Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will attend next week's PLP meeting, along with Mr Corbyn.