Richard Burgon says ‘outrageous’ Labour MPs stopped Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Richard Burgon speaks at a hustings event for Labour Leader and Deputy Leader, hosted by the Co-operative Party, at the Business Design Centre on February 16, 2020 in London, England. Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Ian Murray, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Angela Rayner vying to become Labours deputy leader following the departure of Tom Watson, who stood down in December last year. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Richard Burgon speaks at a hustings earlier this month (Getty)

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.

(left to right) Richard Burgon, Angela Rayner, Rosena Allin-Khan, Dawn Butler and Ian Murray before the deputy Labour leadership husting at the ACC Liverpool. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Deputy leadership candidates Richard Burgon, Angela Rayner, Rosena Allin-Khan, Dawn Butler and Ian Murray (PA via Getty)

“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.

RHYDYFELIN, WALES - FEBRUARY 20: Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is interviewed by the media during a visit to flood victims at Wordsworth Gardens on February 20, 2020 in Rhydyfelin, Wales. Residents and business owners in the south Wales Valleys town are facing serious flood damage after Storm Dennis caused the River Taff burst its banks. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Jeremy Corbyn pictured in Rhydyfelin, Wales, last week (Getty)

“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”.

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