As Kevin Maguire has reported in the New Statesman, right-wing Labour MP Ian Austin launched into a verbal tirade against fellow MP – and party Chair Ian Lavery – in the division lobby of the House of Commons just before the parliamentary recess.
So loud and aggressive was the prolonged outburst that MPs heard it before they saw it, with Austin calling Lavery a ‘w*nker’ and a ‘f*cking b*stard’:
Austin, who has previously attempted to harangue Labour colleague Chris Williamson and was described as ‘thuggish‘ for his behaviour in the Commons chamber when Jeremy Corbyn was criticising Tony Blair over Iraq, has a reputation for unpleasantness, but may have had a lucky escape – after the tirade Labour’s Kevan Jones commented to strongly-built ex-miner Lavery:
You handled that well, Ian, in the old days you might have nutted him.
Instead, it seems Lavery is content to let Labour’s disciplinary process run its course. He declined to comment to the SKWAWKBOX about the incident, as “there has been an official complaint submitted and due process needs to take place”.
Austin was contacted for comment but has not so far responded.
Seems the Labour right has now decided attempts to bully and abuse are the way to handle its diminishing relevance.
Austin may have been feeling the pressure, as the SKWAWKBOX understands he’s worried moves may be made against him in his CLP – which has already shown signs of swinging left – and his chances of becoming West Midlands regional mayor – an ambition he has yet to deny – look slim