Corbyn ridiculed by ex-Labour ministers after claiming to be ‘resistance to Boris Johnson’

Defeated leader’s message that it has been ‘quite the year’ backfires, prompting taunt that 1912 was ‘quite a year’ for Titanic

Jeremy Corbyn's 'we are resistance' New Year message

Angry former Labour ministers have poured ridicule on Jeremy Corbyn’s new year message, after the defeated leader claimed to be “the resistance to Boris Johnson”.

The bizarre address – in which Mr Corbyn also vowed to “be on the frontline, both in parliament and on the streets” – appears to have backfired spectacularly following his general election wipeout.

One former party adviser said of the observation that it had been “quite the year” for Labour: “White Star Line: 1912 was ‘quite a year’ for Titanic.”

That was the only oblique reference Mr Corbyn made to the election disaster, failing to mention it directly even as he told the nation: “We’re up for the fight.”

Instead, he said: “We have built a movement. We are the resistance to Boris Johnson. We will be campaigning every day. We will be on the frontline, both in parliament and on the streets.

“And, make no mistake, our movement is very strong. We are half a million people and growing. We are in every region and nation of our country.”

Anne McGuire, a former minister for disabled people, tweeted: “Listen to this and weep.

“Think what might have been and how we sacrificed those who most needed a Labour government to a delusional ideology that thought echo chamber rallies were a substitute for persuading ‘the many’ to vote Labour.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, a former farming minister who left the Commons this month, said: “Let’s have lots of demos where we can talk to each other, again!

“Consistent in their belief that parliament isn’t most important, the ‘resistance’ is what matters.”

And Michael Dugher, a former transport spokesman, who stood down in 2017, also taunted Mr Corbyn, saying: “Meet Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Imperial Army.

“The year is 1974. Lieutenant Onoda has spent nearly three decades holding out in the jungle on an island in the Philippines, refusing to accept that the Japanese lost the Second World War back in 1945.”

Neil Coyle, who is still a London Labour MP, responded to the broadcast by saying: “Labour isn’t a rent-a-mob protest party, or a ‘resistance’, but a potential party of government when led well.

“Corbyn’s team/message sank us to pre-war levels of representation. More poverty, homelessness and higher food bank use will be the result.”

On 12 December, Labour was crushed to its lowest number of MPs since 1931, forcing Mr Corbyn to announce he will quit when a new leader is elected in March.

In his message, he said: “2020 and the years ahead will be tough, no one is saying otherwise. But we’re up for the fight, to protect what we hold dear. And to build to win and to transform.

“The fight continues. There is no other choice. So if you’re with us already, I can’t wait to meet the challenges ahead together.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in