New Labour is taking credit for policies forced on it by Labour's left wing, says Diane Abbott

 

Labour MP Diane Abbott
Labour MP Diane Abbott

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.

“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.

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