Friday, February 26News For London

Labour MPs at war

Dianne Abott speaks to George Galloway. Photo by creative commons
Dianne Abott speaks to George Galloway. Photo by creative commons

Questions have been asked about the state of the Parliamentary Labour Party following weekend reports that one senior MP is trying to have another sacked.

MPs were talking on Friday night about the growing spat between the two with one anonymous MP saying “Diane Abbott is behind trying to oust Chief Whip Rosie Winterton” and that it was the “talk of the tea room.”

Rumours intensified over the weekend forcing Corbynites supporting Dianne Abbot to deny the allegation, stating: “Diane has never wanted to be a whip. She is very happy in her international development role.”

The Daily Mail, who ran the story on Saturday, gained a quote from an insider in Rosie Winterton’s camp: “This criticism of Rosie bears all the hallmarks of Diane.”

Today both Winterton and Abbott were unavailable for comment, and had nothing further to add whilst the Labour Parties press office said Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet was “working together.”

However another MP, who chose to remain off- the record, said “The story came from The Whips’ Office (which Winterton runs) so it probably a load of b******s”.

Nevertheless the whole event raises serious questions over discipline in the Parliamentary Labour Party, the story coming just weeks after rumours circulated that MPs are looking for a replacement for Corbyn, even muting new MP Clive Lewis (Norwich South) as a replacement.

Tensions have been high in the Parliamentary Labour Party since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Matters almost came to a head after 60 Labour MPs voted against Corbyn over Syria. Which has created rumours that Corbyn may hold an impromptu reshuffle.

Tensions in the Labour Party forced Former Labour Deputy Prime Minister John Pescott to speak out on Sunday, telling Sky News: “But there are some people in the party, who I call the Bitterites, who want to continue the war that they lost.”


Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP, Labour's Chief Whip. Image by creative commons
Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP, Labour’s Chief Whip. Image by creative commons