Labour MP Wes Streeting and deputy leader Tom Watson have been exposed as hypocrites over their attacks on Labour staff – by their own words
Wes Streeting and Tom Watson have been making appearances in the media attacking Labour Party staff as the Labour right again turns its fire on the party.
Watson’s attacks on general secretary Jennie Formby have formed the basis for an array of hostile articles in the so-called ‘mainstream’ media. Streeting, for his part, contributed a quote to a Guardian attack piece on a a number of staff, including Jeremy Corbyn’s political assistant.
He also attacked Labour communications director Seumas Milne during a recent televised appearance on ITV’s Peston:
But both men appear to have performed a complete u-turn in the last few years. While clearly happy to publicly criticise Labour staff now, they are both on record condemning such criticism when the party apparatus was dominated by the Labour right.
Streeting tweeted in 2014 to condemn criticism of ‘staff who work for the Party or the Leader on the airwaves knowing full well they can’t respond‘ as ‘shabby’:
Watson also took to Twitter in 2016, after the Guardian published a letter from a number of former party staff attacking the ‘intolerable’ criticism of staff by left-wingers angry at the ‘purge’ of pro-Corbyn members during the 2016 post-chicken coup leadership election:
Watson also accused Corbyn aide Amy Jackson of leaking to media – before his accusations somehow promptly made their way to hostile media outlets.
Streeting ‘shabby’ in 2014. Watson ‘intolerable’ in 2016. The SKWAWKBOX wrote to both men yesterday to ask them:
What’s changed between then and now to make it ok?
Neither had responded by the time of publication.
Both ‘Labour’ MPs have a track record of allegations of bullying women. Streeting’s conduct – in person, in front of witnesses – toward Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott was described by MPs who saw it as ‘disgraceful’ and ‘disgusting’.
When Watson attacked Formby last year, he was accused by Cllr Yvonne Davies in his home borough of making Davies’ ‘life a misery’ because of persistent misogyny and attempted intimidation.
Most of the criticisms of party staff have also been aimed at women – although Watson has been embarrassingly put in his place recently by two women MPs.
When right-winger Iain McNicol and his mostly right-wing staff were running Labour’s administration, both Watson and Streeting found it unacceptable to criticise.
But now, when the party is run by people far more representative of the views of Labour’s overwhelmingly left-wing membership, it’s suddenly not only ok but apparently very ok.
What could have happened to make them change their minds and behave in a way their earlier selves condemned? Tough one…
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