Home U.K. Laura Kuenssberg's savage warning to Jeremy Corbyn about John McDonnell exposed

Laura Kuenssberg's savage warning to Jeremy Corbyn about John McDonnell exposed

Just five months after Mr Corbyn officially stepped down as Labour leader, a new book has revealed the conflicts and tensions within the party during his tenure. Written by The Times journalists Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire, ‘Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn’ describes the behind-the-scenes dramas of the Islington North MP’s leadership for four years, which culminated in December with party’s worst election performance since 1935. One of the most contentious revelations made by the journalists is that Mr Corbyn failed to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party because he could not empathise with “relatively prosperous” British Jews.

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Moreover, the handling of anti-Semitism by the former Labour leader placed such a strain on his relationship with his closest ally John McDonnell that the pair did not speak “for months”.

It is not the first time it has been claimed that Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell were not as close as most people thought.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Lord David Owen claimed the former Chancellor even plotted a coup against his own leader.

The former Labour foreign secretary and Social Democratic Party (SDP) co-founder said: “People think that the pro-EU stance was all Corbyn, when actually it was all McDonnell.

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Laura Kuenssberg’s savage warning to Jeremy Corbyn about John McDonnell exposed (Image: PA)

Lord David Owen (Image: GETTY)

“McDonnell would have ditched and tried to ditch Corbyn in order to get a second referendum. Something completely wrong and which highly damaged Labour.

“He is much more Trotskyst than Corbyn ever was.

“Corbyn is Marxist and far-Left.”

Moreover, according to unearthed reports, BBC News political editor Laura Kuenssberg had warned Mr Corbyn about appointing Mr McDonnell as his Shadow Chancellor.

She wrote in 2015: “The appointment of John McDonnell is a risk, a big risk.

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“I understand that Jeremy Corbyn was warned by members of his own camp not to give the crucial role of Shadow Chancellor to his close friend and campaign manager, John McDonnell.

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BBC News political editor Laura Kuenssberg (Image: BBC )

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Image: GETTY )

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“There were concerns over how his appointment would appear and the impact it would have on the rest of the Shadow team.

“He was also warned by at least one senior figure outside his campaign circle not to give him the job, the perception being that giving McDonnell the position would be a ‘declaration of war’ on the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

“And McDonnell’s position was a factor in other MPs’ decisions on whether to take a job.”

Ms Kuenssberg noted Mr Corbyn‘s team were going to have to defend some of Mr McDonnell’s more controversial positions, without widespread support from MPs.

She added: “Some MPs are aghast – one told the BBC ‘it is a disgrace, there’s only one thing worse than being ignored in politics and that’s being laughed at’.

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Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (Image: GETTY)

“So Corbyn begins with a problem on his pick for the economy, that crucial area where Labour has struggled to build credibility.

“Another senior MP said, ‘the idea of having three men at the top of the party is ridiculous – we are the Labour Party, this isn’t what we are about’.”

The BBC journalist concluded: “Two days in and Jeremy Corbyn has a significant problem he was warned to avoid, one of his own making.

“The size of his victory is an insurance policy – but my goodness, he’s going to need it.”

Last December, Mr Corbyn led Labour to their worst general election result since 1935.

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