Labour MPs ‘shell shocked’ by angry meeting with Corbyn: ‘We’re still mopping up the blood on the carpet’

It comes as Labour is due to launch a cross-party bid to block a no-deal Brexit

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 11 June 2019 20:03
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Anna Turley: Labour MPs are 'shell shocked' after parliamentary party meeting

Labour has been rocked by fresh infighting after a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn was described as so fractious that cleaners were “still mopping up the blood on the carpet”.

Labour MP Anna Turley said colleagues were “shell shocked” by the anger expressed at the weekly parliamentary Labour party meeting, as MPs tore into Mr Corbyn over the party’s handling of Brexit and internal complaints.

The row comes in the wake of a poor set of European election results for Labour, as well as anger over the decision by the equalities watchdog to launch a probe into antisemitism in the party.

Mr Corbyn had been buoyed by Labour’s victory in the recent Peterborough by-election – but the private meeting, which the leader does not regularly attend, was dominated by clashes.

“I think the cleaners are probably still mopping up the blood on the carpet,” Ms Turley told BBC’s Politics Live.

“It was messy and difficult but that is important in a political party and the results have not being going how they want and we have to be honest about that.

“It’s no good pretending everything is fine while the Tories implode, we are not in the position that we should be and we have got to do better.”

Ms Turley, MP for Redcar, said: “People were shocked, people were shell shocked when I saw them after the meeting.

“There were a lot people who spoke who don’t normally speak, because we are not in the right place we need to be.”

Labour needs to have a “firmer position on Brexit”, she said, arguing for a confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal.

Previously loyal MPs such as Marie Rimmer and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, were said to have weighed in against the Labour leader.

Ms Rimmer, MP for St Helens South and Whiston, reportedly told Mr Corbyn: “People who worked with you for years are turning away from us.”

She said that it “wasn’t easy for me to vote Labour” in the EU elections, and “the leadership is not there” on the party’s Brexit policy.

But John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, insisted Labour was not in “turmoil” over its Brexit stance and welcomed a lively debate.

He told The Times CEO summit: “I would rather have people get up and say, ‘This is what I feel,’ passionately, rather than sneak away to the corners.”

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Mr McDonnell said that all cases of antisemitism were “unacceptable” and added: “We will root it out within our party and that will enable us to contribute to rooting it out within our society.”

It comes as Labour was due to mount a bid to seize control of the Commons agenda to prevent the next Tory prime minister forcing through a no-deal Brexit.

The cross-party bid, tabled by Mr Corbyn, would see opposition MPs hijack the parliamentary timetable on 25 June, allowing them to introduce legislation to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

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