Excl: New Statesman claims LOTO ‘peak-Corbyn’ fears. Here’s why it’s nonsense

jc triumph

Last week, the New Statesman published an article claiming that Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘inner circle’ was riven by divided opinions on key Corbyn allies, on Corbyn’s loyalty to his front bench and on the supposed question of whether we’ve reached ‘peak Corbyn’.

All of which is nonsense.

The article is supposedly based on the expressed frustrations of Corbyn’s ‘inner circle’ – but any informed reader would see very quickly that the source has a very different nature – and agenda.

For example, according to the article, the ‘inner circle’ source,

blames Corbyn’s loyalty to long-standing allies for the party’s underwhelming response to anti-Semitism among its rank and file.

Yet just a couple of weeks below, the party’s conference – full of ‘rank and file’ delegates elected by rank and file members – had voted overwhelmingly in favour of new rules to deal with antisemitism if and where it exists within the party. Nobody in the ‘LOTO’ (leader of the opposition) inner circle considers the party’s response ‘underwhelming’.

Similarly, the Statesman’s sources make a point of targeting John Trickett:

Some in the leaders’ office also worry that there is too much dead wood on the front bench, particularly at junior ministerial level. One shadow cabinet minister who is the target of particular ire is Jon Trickett, who was stripped of his responsibility for the election campaign, in favour of Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery, but retains his role as shadow lord president of the council.

Trickett, it is said, was no good as campaign co-ordinator, is not a reliable presence on television or radio, and acts as a bed-blocker to more talented and younger MPs with impeccable Corbynite credentials.

This is a dead giveaway. Until the General Election, there were more ‘beds’ than there were MPs to fill them. A month before the election, one MP told the SKWAWKBOX of the strains of having to wear three ‘hats’ – different front-bench briefs – because of the idiotic and petulant attitude of right-wingers among the ‘PLP’ (parliamentary Labour party).

The very idea of ‘bed-blocking’ is laughable – and a clear indicator that the ‘inner circle’ source is, in fact, someone on the outside of the inner circle and suffering from a serious case of relevance-envy.

As indeed it proved to be.

A very senior Labour source told the SKWAWKBOX:

The article was discussed at the weekly meeting. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s absolute s***e – the first we heard of it was the New Statesman article.

We know who the source is and it’s not LOTO. A better description would be a ‘hanger-on’.

Jon Trickett is an integral part of our team and his strategy very nearly took us to number 10. He is admired by everyone – especially Karie Murphy who is aggrieved over previous misreporting of an alleged and non-existent fallout.

His relationship with Ian Lavery and Andrew Gwynne is dynamic and inclusive – and he is and will continue to be one of Jeremy’s closest comrades.

But it’s not only Jeremy who thinks highly of him. He is fondly referred to by younger staff in the office as ‘Uncle Jon’.

The SKWAWKBOX knows who the ‘hanger-on’ is but has been asked not to reveal it yet.

The Statesman article also refers to Corbyn’s supposedly ‘excessive’ loyalty “MPs who stuck with him even during his most difficult period as leader”.

But this is nothing more than a naked pitch by the magazine’s source for greater relevance and influence. The same MPs who have stuck with Corbyn through the toughest times are among the top performers in Corbyn’s front-bench team and there is no queue of prime candidates ‘with impeccable Corbynite credential’ clamouring for front-bench spots.

Labour has, it’s true, some outstanding MPs in its new intake. However, the 2017 crop of MPs is still finding its feet and focused on getting to grips with the job. Laura Pidcock, for example, is seen as a rising star but told the SKWAWKBOX in August:

I feel need to get my own house together before thinking of a front-bench job. A lot of people have been there for a long time and get involved in all sorts, but I want to concentrate on creating an outstanding service for the people in my constituency – individuals and businesses. I’m not arrogant enough to think I can do it all and I have enough on my plate for the moment.

The Statesman article rounds off by summarising why it claims that the ‘inner circle’ is divided about whether we’ve reached ‘peak Corbyn’, saying of the supposed group of ‘pro-Corbyn pessimists’:

They believe that Corbyn, by refusing to reshuffle and bring in new faces, is only adding to their vulnerability should the Conservative Party pull itself together. Adding to their sense of unease is Labour’s failure to build a more commanding poll lead at a time when Theresa May is so weak and the Tories are so divided.

However, on top of the fact that the actual inner circle has no idea what the article is talking about, the article is already proving itself nonsense.

Four days after the Statesman article was published, new polling was published by Survation – the only polling company to predict the General Election result accurately.

Survation showed that Labour’s ‘poll lead’ has continued to go from strength to strength, with Labour increasing its lead by two whole points:

survation 040510.png

The information fed to the New Statesman by its source amounts to no more than a piece of desperate kite-flying by someone who appears to have a lot of soured personal ambition – and a particular axe to grind with Jon Trickett.

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  1. There should be more effort made in reaching out to more prominent members of our party. Not by sacking loyal ministers but by reshuffling the roles. For example, bringing in Chuka Ummuna by giving him a small brief within the shadow Business department or Treasury for him to work his way back up or Clive Lewis in the Defence portfolio. Ed Miliband should be given a brief in the Defra/Energy department as he has recently said he’d love to have. There is a lot more talent within the party; an invite extended to hilary Benn to rejoin the Cabinet in some form and even Harriett Harman to join even in a ceremonial role. We need a cabinet full of titans when we go back into government. Yes, those on the front bench at the moment are doing great but it’d be greater to pad it out with more recognised names.

    1. Wouldn’t touch Chuka with a barge-pole. No issue with Clive but Ed has some serious apologising to do to various people before they’d have him back. Hilary grandstanded for cheers from Tories and Harriet will always be tainted by the welfare abstentions. With the potential exception of Clive I don’t think the word ‘titan’ applies to any those mentioned. Corbyn has already brought in some of the former rebels, people are ready for change so bring in some of the good young ones as and when they’re ready/willing

  2. This is a fascinating look at the workings of a supposedly progressive publication. The same edition contains an article claiming that Assad and the Russians are bombing hospitals in Syria, but a little search on the two authors revealed very dubious backgrounds. I think we can draw our own conclusions, and they are not encouraging.

  3. I am not a gambler but I would be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that the person briefing against the Labour Party is:

    a) a member of the Progress Organisation

    b) a Cooperative Party MP – the Cooperative Party was at the centre of the chicken coup which tried to undermine the leadership of the Labour Party.


    c) a member of Progress who is also a Cooperative Party MP.

    This is a serious issue. Constructive criticism and debate is of course always welcome but briefing against the party with this type of groundless, made up garbage is simply treachery.

  4. The NS is a right wing Trojan, a Neo Liberal virus that needs to be exposed and it’s anti Corbyn Labour propaganda exposed

  5. I’m glad they know who the bitter and twisted person is – there’s been leaks and briefings to hostile MSM for too long – this person needs to have their card marked.
    Shame on the Statesman, for years the ‘bible’ of the left, now a scurrilous rag no better than the mail, when it comes to opportunistic Corbyn-bashing.
    Time for a new Left journal, for those that need dead trees to read.

  6. I’m a supporter and subscriber but I have to take exception to your sources when you can’t name them. ‘A very senior Labour source’ is not good enough.’ It’s a BBC and Laura Kuenssberg tactic….’A government minister confirmed’….If you can’t name your sources because they don’t want to be named, then leave it out. If there’s no attribution how do we know it’s not made up? If I’m suspicious of the BBC then I have to be suspicious of my own side otherwise it’s blind loyalty.

    1. Hi Nigel, ‘anonymous source’ journalism is perfectly standard practice in mainstream media and for obvious reasons. If an outlet doesn’t guarantee anonymity for a source who wants it, it will soon have no sources.

      We stand on our record – the anonymous sources we quote are all genuine and when the truth of a matter comes out, they turn out to have been correct.

  7. I certainly hope that some of these new intake Labour MPs will try to get onto the select committees. The Defence and Foreign Affairs ones have a membership that seems to consist entirely of supporters of nuclear weapons and foreign interventions.

    As for the New Statesman, it is consistently hostile to Corbyn.

  8. “Laura Pidcock, for example, is seen as a rising star but told the SKWAWKBOX in August:

    I feel need to get my own house together before thinking of a front-bench job. A lot of people have been there for a long time and get involved in all sorts, but I want to concentrate on creating an outstanding service for the people in my constituency – individuals and businesses. I’m not arrogant enough to think I can do it all and I have enough on my plate for the moment.”

    Simply excellent. How ‘in tune’ is Laura?

    Knows what her (current) remit is, and perceptive enough to understand she’ll earn her spec through HER OWN endeavours, and on her record…Much unlike ‘media darling’ mouthpiece gobshites (Yes – YOU, jess philips) who’s only to willing to stick her oar in with the MSM in return for a media portrayal of relevance/importance (All p1$$ n wind, and zero substance, in essence)

    I predict great things from/for her (Laura) in future.

    As for the new statesman….meh.

  9. The New Statesman!
    The Tories know no bounds when it comes to ATTACKING Everyone or Anything!
    They’re determined to do their worst to our country no matter HOW MANY DIE in the process!
    Along comes the statesman sticking their knife into fresh air, they have an unreliable source feeding them lies and propaganda about the shadow front bench!
    Investigate the real perpetrators of this fake news, do your job, your piece is rubbish and you know it!

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