Our political columnist The Rebel offers the insider’s view of what is happening in Westminster with the turmoil revealed in the Labour opposition as Brexit approaches.
The Rebel is a leading political figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power.
OK, after weeks of talking about the chaos inside the Tories, it is time to turn my attention to Labour because they are just as bad!
Yesterday we heard that the left-wing leader of Labour, Jeremy Corbyn, has sent a letter to Theresa May, spelling out his conditions for supporting her revamped Brexit ‘deal’ – but who really cares anyway?!
She knows full well the bearded one has his own problems over Brexit.
He is a convinced Euro-sceptic and gave only lukewarm support to the Remain campaign in 2016.
He has told her in a letter he wants a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union”, but there is no mention of a second referendum which many Labour people want.
Labour are a party of ‘Remainers’ led by a ‘Leaver’.
One Labour MP told me: “We know it is bad – it is an embarrassment being led by Jeremy”.
“The thing they (Jeremy Corbyn and his advisers) are petrified about is a breakaway party, and even that is being talked about”.
He or she (I’m such a tease!) is right – it IS being talked about.
In fact only on Sunday The Observer reported that: “A group of disaffected Labour MPs is preparing to quit the party and form a breakaway movement on the political centre ground amid growing discontent with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership on Brexit and other key issues including immigration, foreign policy and antisemitism”.
There are splits galore in the Labour party.
Owen Smith, a former shadow cabinet member who stood against the great lefty in 2016, said he and “lots of other people” were considering their positions in Labour.
Meanwhile that prominent pro-EU MP Chuka Umunna said that Labour’s stance was “totally demoralising, this is not Opposition, it is the facilitation of a deal which will make this country poorer”.
Even today splits are being reported.
The Times columnist Philip Collins wrote: “The question in the Labour Party is not whether there will be a split, which is all but inevitable, but what its occasion might be”.
Chuka is no friend of his leader’s and said Labour was: “institutionally racist”.
At the meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) this week, Jennie Formby, the General Secretary, refused, as the MP Luciana Berger reported, “to answer reasonable questions . . . or commit to taking the action we need”.
One of the biggest problems for Labour and Jeremy (apart from the anti-Semitism row which keeps rearing up) is Venezuela.
Jezza just can’t bring himself to condemn Maduro, after heaping praise on his predecessor Huge Chavez, and thinks the whole thing is part of an imperialist plot.
This is all despite the fact that Maduro has presided over a decline of almost 40 per cent in GDP, inflation is running at more than a million per cent and people in Venezuela are starving.
Yet Jeremy is drawn to the idea floated by Maduro that the US has had a hand in it all and they could be preparing to invade.
As for Chavez, he thinks he was a hero for the ‘working class’.
Only in 2013 did Jeremy herald Venezuela as: “an inspiration to all of us fighting back against austerity and neo-Liberal economics in Europe”.
He is an inspiration too.
But to the hard left.
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