Labour peer: We need to get rid of Corbyn

Posted On: 
3rd December 2015

A senior Labour peer has launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn, telling party members “we need to get rid of him” before the 2020 election.

Lord Rooker, who served as a minister under Tony Blair, also argued there are members of the Shadow Cabinet who he “would trust more” to be Prime Minister than the Labour leader.

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Mr Corbyn’s handling of the debate over Syria prompted a widespread backlash among the parliamentary Labour party, with two former ministers, John Spellar and Fiona Mactaggart, calling for him to resign as leader.

Defiant, the veteran MP insisted he is “not going anywhere” and was “enjoying every minute” of being at the party’s helm.

But in a House of Lords debate on military action in Syria, Lord Rooker said his Labour colleagues should be looking to overthrow Mr Corbyn before the next general election.

He told peers yesterday evening: “Some say that my party is in a difficult position; I do not think that it is, really. My party leader cannot be accused, like the Prime Minister, of misleading anyone.

“To my knowledge, he has never agreed to protect the realm, the British way of life or western liberal democracies – and he will not. I am in the terrible position, having been in Westminster since February 1974, of believing that there are members of the Cabinet who I would trust more to be Prime Minister than my own party leader.

“We need to get rid of him before we face the electorate and have a leader fit and proper to offer themselves as our Prime Minister. If I was still in the Commons, where I was for 27 years, I would be voting with the Government tonight.”

The Commons voted by 397 to 223 to back airstrikes after a debate lasting more than ten hours.

The debate contained an impassioned speech by Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, who some have touted as a future Labour leader.

Mr Corbyn granted his MPs a free vote after previously suggesting he could whip them into opposing military action.