Labour deputy leadership hustings descends into chaos as Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler clash over their support for Jeremy Corbyn
- Shadow Justice Secretary and Butler, shadow Equalities Minister were in Leeds
- Burgon: ‘I am the only deputy leader candidate who backed Jeremy from the start of the leadership elections and I never resigned’
- Butler interjects: ‘I did and all!’ – as pair continue to clash on stage on Saturday
There were farcical scenes at Labour’s deputy leadership hustings in Leeds today after two candidates clashed over their support for Jeremy Corbyn.
Footage shows shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon arguing with shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler as they addressed potential voters.
Mr Burgon is seen on the platform, saying: ‘I never resigned from the shadow cabinet. I am the only deputy leader candidate who backed Jeremy from the start of the leadership elections and I never resigned.’
At this point, Ms Butler interjects in a shrill voice, ‘I did and all!’
Labour’s deputy leadership hustings in Leeds descended into chaos on Saturday after candidates Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon (pictured at the event) clashed over their support for Jeremy Corbyn
Shadow Justice Secretary Mr Burgon said: ‘I never resigned from the shadow cabinet. I am the only deputy leader candidate who backed Jeremy from the start of the leadership elections and I never resigned’
Shadow Equalities Minister Ms Butler then interjected in a shrill voice, ‘I did and all!’ as the two continued to clash
After a brief pause, Mr Burgon responds: ‘I can come back on that, if you like’ – before adding that she nominated Mr Corbyn but actually supported his rival, Andy Burnham, in 2015.
He continues: ‘I am proud to be on the left, I’m proud to be the secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group for Labour MPs.
‘But whoever is elected leader, I will never do red-on-red attacks on the TV because we all need to work together to get back into Government.’
Ms Butler then replies: ‘I’m going to have to come back on this. So, yes, I was supporting Andy Burnham before Jeremy put his hat in the ring.
‘When Jeremy put his hat in the ring, I said, “Yes, Jeremy’s voice needed to be heard in the leadership election’ so I nominated Jeremy.
‘When in the lobby against the Welfare Reform Bill, out of all the leadership candidates, it was myself and Jeremy and a couple of other MPs in that, I supported Jeremy Corbyn.’
Mr Burgon and Ms Butler have been criticised for refusing to sign a series of pledges proposed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews in an attempt to combat anti-Semitism in the party.
After a brief pause, Mr Burgon responds: ‘I can come back on that, if you like’ – before adding that Ms Butler nominated Mr Corbyn but actually supported his rival, Andy Burnham, in 2015. (Above, the Labour shadow cabinet last September)
The BOD’s pledges were launched last week, including swiftly settling all outstanding investigations and making Labour’s disciplinary process independent of the party.
President Marie van der Zyl said: ‘We will be frank. The relationship between Labour and the Jewish community, once rock solid, has been all but destroyed.
‘Rebuilding will take more than mild expressions of regret. It will take a firm public commitment to agree to a specific course of action.
‘Our Ten Pledges identify the key points we believe Labour needs to sign up to in order to begin healing its relationship with our community.
‘All of these points, in one form or another, have previously been put to Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership team. Regrettably, action on any of these issues was limited at best, non-existent at worst.’
While all five leadership candidates have signed up to support them, two candidates for the deputy position has refused to – Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler.
Sir Keir Starmer pulls out of leadership hustings after his mother-in-law is taken to hospital
The Labour leadership hustings in Leeds scheduled for Saturday was cancelled after Sir Keir Starmer pulled out as his mother-in-law was critically ill in hospital, the party has said.
Sir Keir said he intends to return to the Labour leadership campaign on Monday.
The shadow Brexit secretary thanked people for their ‘support and kindness’ in what he said had been – and would continue to be – a ‘very difficult time’.
The Labour leadership hustings in Leeds scheduled for Saturday was cancelled after Sir Keir Starmer pulled out as his mother-in-law was critically ill in hospital, the party said
Sir Keir, who is a frontrunner in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn, pulled out of events on Thursday, Friday and over the weekend as a result of his mother-in-law’s condition.
She remains in a critical condition in hospital, following an accident it is understood.
The frontbencher wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening: ‘Heartfelt thanks to everyone in the Labour Party, especially the other leadership candidates, and to everyone beyond the Labour Party for the support and kindness you have extended to my family and me in what has been – and sadly will continue to be – a very difficult time.
‘Words cannot express our thanks for everything our incredible NHS are doing. I hope to be able to return to the leadership campaign on Monday.’
The planned leadership hustings at the weekend were cancelled to ensure fairness to all the candidates after Sir Keir pulled out.