Labour Grandee Slams Seumas Milne's Influence Over Party's Handling Of Anti-Semitism

13 July 2019, 13:06

Jeremy Corbyn has to sort out his advisors, insists former deputy Labour leader Lord Hattersley.

Lord Hattersley said the current Labour leader should take back control of his own decisions if he is going to win back the trust of voters and party members following troubles with anti-Semitism within the party.

The Labour grandee told Matt Frei that Jeremy Corbyn "needs to put his foot down" and to not listen 'too carefully' and so "invariably" to some of his advisors.

But when Matt asked whether he had anyone in mind, Lord Hattersley said "the usual suspects", and started drawing up names.

"Karie Murphy, Seumas Milne, Jennie Formby," he listed, adding: "I don't think they're giving the leader good advice and I think he's got to say I'm leader of the Labour Party and take these decisions, not you."

The former deputy leader added that it would not be right for Mr Corbyn to sack them, but to "make it clear" that he will "be his own man".

"If he did that, many more people will be on his side."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with advisor Seumas Milne
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with advisor Seumas Milne. Picture: Getty

Lord Hattersley also told the LBC presenter he thought the Labour Party "almost deserves" to lose the next general election over its handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.

"The problem is genuine, the concern is real, the issue is fundamental, and unless we sort it out, we almost deserve to lose the next election," he said.

"It's a matter of absolute principle and it has to be cleaned up and cleared out as soon as possible."

Asked whether he thought the issue of anti-Semitism was more crippling than Labour's indecision on Brexit, Lord Hattersley said: "Anti-Semitism is by far the worse because it is a matter of principle.

"I am an absolutely enthusiastic European, I think leaving the community will be a catastrophe, but that's not a matter of principle in the way the anti-Semitism argument is.

"That is fundamental, and unless we get that right our entire moral basis is undermined."

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