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Monday, February 27, 2017
John McDonnell: "soft coup" to topple Jeremy Corbyn
John McDonnell has claimed “soft coup” is underway to topple Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
The Shadow Chancellor said the putsch was “planned, co-ordinated and fully resourced” and using the “dark arts” to bring down the Labour leader.
Writing for the Labour Briefing website, he said the coup was being perpetuated by an alliance “between elements in the Labour Party and the Murdoch media empire who were intent on destroying Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for.”
He said the aim of the plotters was to undermine support for Mr Corbyn among Labour members and voters.
“Undermining support for Jeremy from Labour voters is important to the plotters because their objective is to ensure Jeremy trails in the polls and can’t win elections.
“In this way they can destroy morale among party members and their confidence in him,” he writes.
“The coup is not being waged up front in public but strictly behind the scenes.
“Having learned the lesson of the last coup attempt - that a direct attack on Jeremy and his policies will provoke a backlash from many party members - the coup perpetrators are this time round pursuing a covert strategy.”
The article continues: “The coup plotters are willing to sacrifice the Party at elections just to topple Jeremy and prevent a socialist leading the Party.”
Mr McDonnell said the tactics include “daily and constant behind-the-scenes non-attributable briefings against Jeremy and his Shadow Cabinet.”
“This constant barrage of negative briefings also crowds out any positive initiatives or narrative from Jeremy and his team.
“It also feeds and confirms in the public’s mind that the Labour Party is split.
“The professional planning of interventions in which attacks to undermine Jeremy are framed evidences an exceptionally well resourced ‘dark arts’ operation of the old spin school,” he writes.
Mr McDonnell said it was important to spread the message about the ‘coup’ so supporters of Mr Corbyn could “fight back.”
But this morning a spokesman for the Shadow Chancellor rowed back from the claims.
“This article was written over a week ago in response to the intervention from Tony Blair .
“It was published in print last week and only went online last night.
“However, as John said yesterday he wants us all to focus on party unity following last week’s by-election results.
“And he is looking to reach out in the coming days to those across all sections of the party and none,” the spokesman said.
Mr McDonnell’s comments came as Labour MPs meet tonight in the aftermath of the Copeland by-election defeat.
The result has piled fresh pressure on Mr Corbyn to reverse Labour's dire poll ratings.
At the weekend the Labour leader pledged to bring forward “very coherent”, “credible” and “solid” policies that will help revive Labour's fortunes.
He has dismissed concerns over his leadership, saying: “People obviously have a view, perceptions, about party leaders, and I have mine.”
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