Heidi Alexander: I hated being part of Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘joke’ top team
The former shadow health secretary has explained why she quit the shadow cabinet last month.
Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has received yet another bodyblow delivered by one of its former key lieutenants, with Heidi Alexander becoming the latest figure to lash out.
The Lewisham East MP criticised Corbyn's "inept, unprofessional and shoddy" tenure as she explained why she quit as shadow health secretary.
Her outspoken comments follow similar attacks on Corbyn's leadership by former shadow ministers Lilian Greenwood, Sharon Hodgson and Thamgam Debbonaire.
Writing in The Guardian, Alexander said: "I hated being a member of Jeremy’s Shadow Cabinet – because it was entirely dysfunctional…
“It wasn’t good enough for the leader to routinely defer to his Shadow Chancellor when confronted with a difficult decision – a Shadow Chancellor who on three separate occasions undermined my efforts to agree collective positions on health matters.
“It wasn’t good enough for the leader to say one thing to me, only for his political secretary to phone a day later and say: 'He may have said that, but I know what he really thinks'. It wasn’t good enough for the leader to read his position from a typed up script at shadow cabinet meetings discussing the prospect of military action against Isis in Syria or the EU referendum. And it wasn’t good enough that whenever he appeared on TV, his description of a process, or his analysis of a problem, ended in confusion or despair on the party’s position – Article 50, counter-terrorism, “7.5 out of 10” on Brexit.
“I hated being part of something so inept, so unprofessional, so shoddy. This wasn’t what I had gone into politics to do. It was a joke.”
The comments come after Labour MP Jack Dromey was filmed also criticising Corbyn’s leadership – and then warmly greeting the leader when he showed up at the Labour leadership hustings in Birmingham.
Despite - or possibly because of - the unrelenting criticisms from Labour MPs, Corbyn is still attracting huge crowds to campaign rallies and remains the odds-on bookies' favourite to defeat his leadership rival Owen Smith.
Picture by: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Images