Corbyn 'in denial' about election disaster, says rival Labour MP Hodge

Jeremy Corbyn and Margaret Hodge (PA)
Jeremy Corbyn and Margaret Hodge

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge has launched another stinging broadside against her rival Jeremy Corbyn, claiming the party leader is “in denial” about his election disaster.

Dame Margaret, who has repeatedly attacked Mr Corbyn throughout his four-year leadership of Labour, today criticised him for blaming media hostility after he led the party to its worst election result since 1935.

She told LBC: “I think the comments from Jeremy Corbyn and the people around him show that they're in denial as to the enormity and the depth of the rejection.

“The real rejection was of a party that didn't have credible economics. Nobody believed - we were scattering a confetti of promises all over the place.”

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Dame Margaret, who worked alongside Mr Corbyn for nine years in the ‘80s and ‘90s when she led the local council in his Islington constituency, added he hasn’t provided “real opposition” to three Tory prime ministers.

“I don't think we've provided that over the last three or four years either," she said. “The purpose of politics and the purpose of political parties is to gain power so that you can implement your programme.”

It follows her call for Mr Corbyn to resign immediately on Friday, when she tweeted: “Corbyn talking about a period of ‘reflection’. I’ve reflected. You failed. Please stand down.”

A leadership contest is expected in the New Year. Up until then, Mr Corbyn will remain as leader.

Labour won just 203 seats in Thursday’s poll, losing 59 from the 2017 election.

Ken Clarke, the former Father of the House who stood down as an MP last month, also weighed in on Monday as he said Labour would have beat Boris Johnson’s Tories if its direction was more moderate.

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“The Labour Party is doomed,” he told Sky News, “until it stops itself being gripped… by these young, left-wing, ‘60s lefties.

“If they had a social democrat Labour Party fighting Boris in the election last week, I think, probably, a moderate Labour Party could well have won.”