Richard Burgon: I have been bullied by anti-Corbyn MPs

Written by Kevin Schofield and David Singleton on 29 July 2016 in Diary

Some Labour MPs reacted angrily to Burgon's claim...

In recent weeks it has been Jeremy Corbyn facing pressure to deal with bullying in the Labour party.

More than 40 of his female MPs have signed a letter calling for the Labour leader to do more to combat “an extremely worrying trend of escalating abuse and hostility”. In particular, supporters of Corbyn have been accused of being behind a brick attack on former leadership challenger Angela Eagle's constituency office.

But now an ally of Corbyn has insisted that it cuts both ways.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon accused Labour MPs opposed to Corbyn's leadership of trying to "bully and intimidate" his supporters in the House of Commons.

Writing on the LabourList website, he stated: "Unacceptable behaviour isn’t confined to Twitter users unknown to the public. I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the way a minority of my Parliamentary colleagues have treated party members on Twitter, in person and at meetings.

"MPs deserve to be treated with respect but so do Labour members. As MPs we need to understand it’s not 'all about us'. That’s why I haven’t been press-releasing the energetic but failed attempts by a tiny minority of MPs to bully and intimidate myself and other MPs who support the leader of the Labour party."

The left-winger also compared Labour members accused of threatening behaviour towards moderate MPs to the miners and their families who took on the "establishment" in the 1980s.

"Just as it was morally wrong to smear hundreds of thousands of striking miners and Women Against Pit Closures activists in this way in 1984/5, it is morally wrong to dismiss and demonise hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members in this way in 2016," he stated.

But some Labour MPs reacted angrily to Burgon's remarks.

One told PoliticsHome: "Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader we have had abuse, especially against women, on an unprecedented scale in Labour. For the first time in history, all local Labour party meetings have been banned by the NEC because of the levels of intimidation and nastiness. This all happened on Corbyn's watch."

Another said: "Richard is a to-the-manor-born MP who was four-years-old during the miners' strike. So he is perhaps not Britain's leading authority on that period. Maybe he read all about it at Cambridge."



Picture by: Peter Marshall / Demotix/Demotix/Press Association Images

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