26 Nov 2015

Jeremy Corbyn’s red letter day

The letter Jeremy Corbyn has sent out to MPs is intended for the attention of party members. It declares his opposition to military action in Syria.

One Labour frontbencher said: “This is war, and I’m not talking about Syria.”

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One member of the Shadow Cabinet said: “How do you deal with someone like that?” The Shadow Cabinet member accused Jeremy Corbyn of dishonesty and attempted intimidation.The Corbyn critics in the Shadow Cabinet say the deal in the room was to “take counsel and keep counsel” over the weekend. They believe Jeremy Corbyn has gone behind their backs and broken the agreement made in the room by writing a letter that is intended to stir up his supporters in the country to lobby their MPs to back him on Syria.

Three frontbenchers told me they thought we could be approaching resignations from the Shadow Cabinet. Two frontbenchers said they thought it might calm down but blamed Seamus Milne, the newly recruited Guardian columnist now at Jeremy Corbyn’s side, and John McDonnell for coming up with a harder line that seems a world away, in their view, from the pluralistic politics Mr Corbyn himself seems to espouse.

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