Labour MPs mutiny over 'cowardly' Harman

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Indy Politics

Harriet Harman has been branded "shameful and cowardly" by Labour MPs for cutting former minister Phil Woolas off from the party.

The deputy leader of the Labour Party said on Sunday Mr Woolas had no future in Labour, even if he succeeded in overturning an election court's ruling that he lied about his opponent in the general election.

But at the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, she was criticised for her stance. One senior MP at the meeting accused her of "hanging Mr Woolas out to dry". Another said he had been treated "shamelessly". According to one MP present, Ms Harman was described to her face by one colleague as "a disgrace". Another told the BBC it was suggested that she should "consider her position".

Mr Woolas says he has had pledges of support from "dozens of colleagues". He is raising money for a legal challenge against the ruling which led to his removal as an MP and his suspension from Labour.

Graham Stringer, MP for Manchester Blackley and Broughton, commented: "The feelings were very strong."