New Labour figures are trying to take credit for progressive policies forced on them by the party’s left-wing and trade unions, an MP has said.
Diane Abbott criticised a call by Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell calling for people to join Labour and vote for anyone but Jeremy Corbyn.
“Words fail me. Who does Campbell think this is going to convince? “ she tweeted, linking to a recent blog post by Tony Blair’s former spinner.
Mr Campbell replied that he made the call “to help turn a losing party into one that won and made change for the better. Hate to see it go backward”.
But Ms Abbott questioned whether New Labour would have had a positive effect on the UK without the influence of trade unions and Labour’s more radical activist base.
“You claim credit for policies forced on you by forces (left/trade unions) that you now boast about crushing,” she said.
Ms Abbott is running to be her party's candidate for next year's Mayor of London election.
Mr Campbell, who was New Labour’s director of communications from 1997 until 2003, yesterday claimed Mr Corbyn could destroy Labour if he became leader and said he had to be beaten.
Labour leadership: The Contenders
Labour leadership: The Contenders
1/4 Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn readily admits he is only standing to ensure the left of the party is given a voice in a contest dominated by candidates promising to move the party towards the centre-ground of British politics
Profiles by Matt Dathan
2/4 Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham is the current front-runner to win the leadership election according to bookmakers, but the fact that the Conservative party leadership hopes he wins shows the task that awaits if he is Ed Miliband’s successor. He will have to find a way of distancing himself from both the last five years under Mr Miliband and the Blair and Brown years, during which he served in the Cabinet
3/4 Yvette Cooper
Yvette Cooper will also face a battle in convincing voters she offers a sufficient break with the past, having served in Gordon Brown’s Cabinet and she played a key role in Mr Miliband’s team as shadow home secretary. The fact that her husband is Ed Balls will not have a negative impact internally but voters are not likely to look favourably on the prospect of Mr Miliband’s ousted shadow chancellor entering Downing Street if Ms Cooper wins in 2020
4/4 Liz Kendall
Liz Kendall faces criticism over her lack of experience – she was only elected in 2010 and has no experience of serving in government and wasn't even in Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet. But that very lack of experience means she can make a pitch as the only candidate offering real change and a real break from the Blair/Brown/Miliband years
“The madness of flirting with the idea of Corbyn as leader has to stop,” he wrote in a post on his blog. “That means no first preferences, no second preferences, no any preferences. It frankly means ABC, Anyone But Corbyn.
“Anyone who wants to see another Labour government one day should do what people who want a Corbyn leadership are doing – namely sign up as registered supporters for three quid in the next few days; but then I would hope they vote ABC.”
The communications professional is most notorious for his role in the preparation of the 2003 Iraq Dossier or so-called “dodgy dossier” that made the argument for Britain to invade Iraq.
A series of indicators including polls, local party nominations, and meeting attendance suggest that the left-winger is the favourite to succeed Ed Miliband to lead his party.
Mr Campbell is the latest New Labour figure to come out against Mr Corbyn.
Last month Tony Blair described the politics of the left-winger's supporters as "reactionary" and said anyone who believed in Mr Corbyn in their heart should "get a heart transplant".
Mr Corbyn is one of four candidates for the Labour leadership election – the others are Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall, and Yvette Cooper.Reuse content