Richard Burgon says ‘outrageous’ Labour MPs stopped Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM
Labour deputy leadership candidate Richard Burgon has lashed out at rival Angela Rayner after she said that Jeremy Corbyn didn’t “command respect”.
Burgon, who is one of Corbyn’s ultimate devotees in parliament, said the Labour leader would have won the 2017 election if it hadn’t been for “outrageous” MPs rebelling and forcing a leadership election in 2016.
A row erupted among left-wing Labour members after Rayner – previously seen as a Corbyn loyalist – used an ITV interview to slate his leadership after he led the party to its worst election result since 1935.
She said: “I’m more bombastic, more focused and more sharp, and I would expect more discipline in a way that Jeremy didn’t.
“He didn't command respect, and he therefore wasn't able to command that collectivism in the Labour Party."
Burgon then hit back at frontrunner Rayner in an impassioned defence of “Jeremy” on Twitter.
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He said: “Jeremy has my respect – and always will.
“Jeremy has the respect of all those members who voted for him twice as leader.
“Jeremy would likely have become PM in 2017 if it weren’t for the outrageous behaviour of the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party] trying to oust him the year before.”
Other comments from Corbyn supporters criticising Rayner included: “If she thinks she resonates more than @jeremycorbyn in this country, someone needs to sit her down and tell her a few home truths.
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“No-ONE resonates like Jeremy Corbyn with the British public.”
Another posted: “Your comment about Mr Corbyn undermines your credibility as a candidate and comrade.”
Meanwhile, in the same ITV interview, Rayner said Corbyn shouldn’t be given a shadow cabinet role once he steps down in April and that his Brexit position in the election was “awful”.