Former Labour MPs have ridiculed the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn for his New Year message in which the politician said Labour is resistance to head of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Addressing supporters and voters Mr Corbyn claimed that members of the party would campaign every day and would be on “the frontline, both in Parliament and on the streets”.
Despite Labour showing its worst performance since the 1930s in recent elections, even losing traditional Labour strongholds to the Conservative Party, Mr Corbyn claimed that the party is strong and its voter base is growing.
"And make no mistake our movement is very strong. We are half a million people and growing. We are not backed by press barons, by billionaires or by the millionaires, who work for the billionaires. We are backed by you. We are by the many for the many. We are up for the fight to protect what we hold dear. Join us. Join Labour today – together we can bring about real change for our country for the many and not just the few", Corbyn said.
His statements caused strong backlash among former Labour MPs, who stressed that the 70-year-old was delusional. Anne McGuire, a former minister for the disabled tweeted:
Listen to this and weep. Think what might have been and how we sacrificed those who most needed a Labour Government to a delusional ideology that thought echo chamber rallies were a substitute for persuading “the many” to vote Labour. Happy New Year. https://t.co/thqyOhHIiH— Dame Anne McGuire (@AnneMcGuire97) December 31, 2019
Michael Dugher, a former transport spokesman, compared Corbyn to the Japanese lieutenant, who spent decades in the jungle and refused to accept Tokyo’s defeat in the Second World War.
Meet Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Imperial Army. The year is 1974. Lieutenant Onoda has spent nearly three decades holding out in the jungle on an island in the Philippines, refusing to accept that the Japanese lost the Second World War back in 1945... https://t.co/9ZkFnV2Ri8— Michael Dugher (@MichaelDugher) December 31, 2019
Former and current Labour MPs blamed Corbyn for the party’s crushing defeat during the 12 December election, which saw Labour lose 59 seats in Parliament. In particular, parliamentarians said that voters had found it hard to back Jeremy Corbyn and criticised the party’s political programme, something that was again mentioned by Darren Murphy, who stressed that if Corbyn wants to “resist” PM Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party it would need an “electable leader”.
.@jeremycorbyn The best way to “resist” Conservative govts is to defeat them at the ballot box. The way to do that is to have an electable leader, a radical, social democratic programme for govt and to persuade previous Conservative voters to vote Labour.— Darren Murphy (@MrDarrenMurphy) December 31, 2019
Jeremy Corbyn said he would not step down as party leader until March despite his party's humiliating defeat. The 70-year-old stressed that it was up to the party's ruling body to decide when he should go, adding that a new leader would be selected early next year.