'An absolute disgrace!' Furious BBC audience member shames Labour leadership candidates

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Jay, a former supporter of the Labour Party who voted for the Conservatives in the December election, blasted the four Labour leadership candidates on BBC Victoria Derbyshire as they repeatedly defended their party’s policies drafted for the 2019 election manifesto. In a furious rant against the four hoping to replace Jeremy Corbyn, he said: “I’m a former Labour voter, I voted Tory for the first time at this election. Your manifesto was an absolute joke. An absolute disgrace.

“If you had just put in the manifesto ‘we will reverse Tory cuts’, you would have done so much better.

“You were nationalising everything, you would have tanked the economy.

“I’ve got no trust in Jeremy Corbyn, I’ve got no trust in Corbynism.

“The party is so far to the left now that it’s fallen off the scale.

“Tony Blair would have won that election!”

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'An absolute disgrace!' Furious BBC audience member shames Labour leadership candidates

Labour leadership candidates slammed by former Labour voter (Image: BBC)

'An absolute disgrace!' Furious BBC audience member shames Labour leadership candidates

Labour leadership: Jay tells candidates Labour manifesto was a ‘joke’ (Image: BBC)

Jay went on by admitting he is a supporter of Sir Keir Starmer’s in the race as he is the only candidate that could bring the party back to a more centrist position, he claimed.

During the debate, Lisa Nandy accused her three leadership rivals of having remained “silent” while in the shadow cabinet during Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis.

The Wigan MP, the only backbencher left in the contest, used a leadership debate to put distance between her and the other candidates on the issue that has dogged Labour since Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is currently investigating complaints of anti-Semitism within the party, along with the actions it took to tackle the scourge.

Ms Nandy told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme it was “not good enough” for shadow cabinet members to talk about demanding reports into what was being done to tackle the problem, but then failing to act when nothing more was provided.

It comes after shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, during a leadership debate on BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, said she and Sir Keir Starmer had requested that evidence be given to Labour’s top team.

Ms Nandy said: “We are not having an honest reckoning with how badly we have got this wrong and the collective role we have played in this.

“Leadership is about taking on issues when they are hard. Sitting in the shadow cabinet asking for reports, not seeing them, challenging and then remaining silent is not good enough.

“We have to be honest that far too many people in this party did not stand up and speak out when it counted.”

The former shadow climate change secretary noted that the only time she broke ranks while in the role was to speak out against a “high-profile incident of anti-Semitism”.

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'An absolute disgrace!' Furious BBC audience member shames Labour leadership candidates

Labour leadership candidates took questions from Labour supporters on BBC Victoria Derbyshire (Image: BBC)

Ms Thornberry defended herself against Ms Nandy’s accusations, arguing it was the failure of Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), to crack down on racism.

She said: “We may be throwing people out of the party now for being anti-Semitic – and we are – but why didn’t we do it two and a half years ago?

“Why wasn’t the party dealing with it then? That’s the issue.

“And the shadow cabinet didn’t have any control over that, it was the National Executive Committee and the party.

“That’s why we were calling in the shadow cabinet, ‘Please come and report to us because you don’t seem to be able to deal with it’.”

During the televised debate on Thursday, three of the four leadership hopefuls said tackling anti-Semitism would be the number one priority if they replace Mr Corbyn on April 4.

Only Ms Thornberry did not list it as number one on her to-do-list.


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