Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

‘Get a left-winger on the ballot’ Owen Jones sparks fury with leftie rant at Keir Starmer

Labour's loss of 'vision' criticised by Owen Jones

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A massive row erupted on Twitter after left-wing Labour activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter Owen Jones launched a ferocious attack on Keir Starmer demanding he should resign if Labour loses the upcoming Batley and Spen by-election. He went on to say how Gerard Coyne, a candidate for the Unite General Secretary position, would “rewrite the leadership rules” and prevent a “left-winger on the ballot” because he represents the “right-wing” of Labour. But his comments prompted a furious backlash as people accused Owen Jones of dividing the party and “playing football” with Labour’s politics.

Mr Jones said in a video with left-wing site Novara media: “If he loses Batley, Keir Starmer has to resign as leader of the Labour Party.

“And the left has to think very seriously about how we get some sort of candidate on the ballot appear in those circumstances.

“If Gerard Coyne, the right-wing candidate wins, that will then be used to clamp down on democracy in the Labour Party and do all sorts of very, very, very terrifying bad things.

“But also to rewrite the leadership rules probably a reversion to the electoral college for example

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He went on to claim this would “rewrite the leadership rules probably a reversion to the electoral college for example” adding “you change the nominations required to get a left-winger on the ballot in the ballot in the first place and that would stop a left-winger getting on the ballot paper”.

But Twitter responded in fury at Mr Jones’ claims about the direction of Labour. 

One person said: “This stuff is worthless. I’m not even sure Owen knows what he wants to achieve with his bitter turn. It’s outrage for clicks by this point.”

Another chimed: “Jones and Novara doing the Tories work for them.”

Keir Starmer urged to 'learn' from Corbyn by Owen Jones

While a third added: “Maybe if the party got behind him instead of infighting all the time and gave him a chance to do something it would help. Just saying, politics is getting like football change the manager because the players play sh*t when they want him changed.”

Mr Jones later responded to the backlash.

He tweeted: “It’s striking that all the people claiming my tweets, rather than the Labour leadership, are responsible for Labour’s woes are exactly the same people who claimed that anyone pointing to almost the whole media demonising Jeremy Corbyn were just making excuses for his failures.”

The left-wing activist added: “So what we have learned is: Under Jeremy Corbyn, almost the entire media demonising him was completely irrelevant Under Keir Starmer, the tweets of a single newspaper columnist have the power to destroy the Labour Party.”

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His comments come as Labour received only 622 votes at the Chesham and Amersham by-election, from a voter turnout of 37,954 – Labour lost their deposit as a result.

It comes as the Batley and Spen seat is also up for re-election after Labour MP Tracy Brabin was elected metro Mayor of West Yorkshire.

The constituency was previously represented by tragic MP Jo Cox who was murdered by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair in the constituency town of Birstall in 2016.

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