Labour civil war escalates as Alastair Campbell claims even Corbyn’s close ally John McDonnell thinks kicking him out of the party for voting Lib Dem is ‘bonkers’
- Alastair Campbell says John McDonnell expelling him from Labour is ‘bonkers’
- Cherie Blair is understood to have voted at EU elections but not for Labour
- Labour insisted that rules forbid members from supporting other parties
Alastair Campbell stepped up his war with the Labour leadership today – claiming that even Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies think it is ‘bonkers’ to kick him out of the party.
The former No10 spin doctor said John McDonnell and Keir Starmer had told him the decision to eject him for voting Lib Dem at the EU election should be reviewed.
The latest salvo came after Cherie Blair made it known she also did not vote Labour in the poll last week, and is instead thought to have supported the pro-EU Lib Dems.
Mr Corbyn is facing all-out mutiny from Remain supporters, who have been infuriated at his refusal full-heartedly to back a second Brexit referendum.
Former No10 spin doctor Alastair Campbell (pictured speaking to reporters at his London home this week) said John McDonnell and Keir Starmer had told him the decision to eject him for voting Lib Dem at the EU election should be reviewed.
Mr McDonnell (pictured earlier this month) agrees that the expulsion is ‘bonkers’, according to Mr Campbell
There has been an #expelmetoo backlash on social media, and deputy leader Tom Watson has branded the move – which is now being reviewed – ‘spiteful’.
Mr Campbell, Mr Blair’s former spin doctor, was ousted from Labour on Tuesday after he admitted backing the Liberal Democrats because, unlike his party, they were strongly in favour of a so-called People’s Vote.
Mrs Blair’s husband, former PM Tony Blair, has said he voted Labour but ‘without any enthusiasm’.
Mr Campbell, who is appealing against his expulsion from the party, pointed to comments from Attorney General Baroness Chakrabarti yesterday saying there would be a review.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The reason there is no justification for this expulsion is because, as Shami Chakrabarti said yesterday, a tactical vote is not a reason for expulsion.
‘The only evidence provided to me were three cuttings covering what I’d said after the event, after the polls had closed, after the results had come in.’
Defending comments on the eve of poll where he said he understood people who were not planning to vote Labour, he said: ‘That’s hardly campaigning for another party.’
‘I have had it clearly spelt out to me from Keir Starmer, John McDonnell – I’ve heard it publicly from Shami Chakrabarti, Tom Watson and Emily Thornberry – they all think this decision is bonkers and they all think it should be reviewed.’
Mr Corbyn (pictured on a visit to Dublin yesterday) is facing all-out mutiny from Remain supporters, who have been infuriated at his refusal full-heartedly to back a second Brexit referendum
Sources close to Mrs Blair (file picture with husband Tony) made clear she did not support Labour in the polls last week – amid claims she too backed the Liberal Democrats. Tony Blair has said he voted Labour ‘without any enthusiasm’
‘Jeremy Corbyn talks about listening to members but he is actually only listening to a very, very small clique around him.
‘Jeremy Corbyn needs to decide: is he going to listen to the many – the public, the members, the MPs – or listen to the few: Seamus Milne, Carrie Murphy, Len McCluskey and Andrew Murray?
‘They are the people driving this and they are the people risking oblivion for the Labour Party.’