Why Corbyn really walked out of meeting with Umunna

Corbyn has been attacked – and praised – for refusing to remain in a party leaders’ meeting on Brexit when Quitter MP Chuka Umunna turned up. Here’s what happened

‘Tinge’ group MP Chuka Umunna

Media – and social media – have been buzzing with the news that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn walked out of a meeting of party leaders to discuss Brexit options when he found former Labour MP Chuka Umunna there.

Many on social media have praised Corbyn for his decisive refusal to engage with one of the MPs whose group has done little but attack Labour – and Labour’s Brexit strategy – since it was formed. But predictably, the so-called ‘mainstream’ media have tried to present it as some kind of failure or ‘bad optics’.

But a Labour source told the SKWAWKBOX how it all unfolded:

There were two meetings. There was the one with the party leaders – and another one that the Tiggers were invited to.

But the Tiggers turned up at the main meeting and [May adviser] Gavin Barwell thought it would be rude to send them away even though they’d crashed it! Confusion reigned.

The Tiggers aren’t even a party, let alone significant enough to have been there, so Jeremy left. Apparently he didn’t miss anything, it was as vacuous as you’d expect.

LibDem leader Vince Cable, who stayed at the meeting, couldn’t help but agree how pointless it had been:

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Entitled Blairite gatecrashers and Tories too weak and feeble to send them packing. What a riveting event that must have been after the PM-in-waiting left them to it.

Corbyn did the right thing in leaving to let them waste their own time.

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  1. If Chukka “TTIP” Umuna has a right to be there, then so do all independents. Those defending his appearance should be also calling for the pro Saudi militant John Woodcock and convicted criminal Fiona Onasayna to have their say.

  2. Surely the test is … Has this small “faction” of MPs been registered with the Electoral Commission as a Political Party and recognised within the House by the Speaker as a “Party”. I don’t think that it has.

  3. Sounds like a flimsy excuse to spin what in effect was May’s poor judgement.

  4. To paraphrase Kirsty Wark on last night’s BBC Newsnight……..why wouldn’t he talk; why would he walk out of a meeting with opposition leaders when he’s happy to share platforms with less reputable people?
    The knives are constant.

    1. You are absolutely correct about the knives and Wark’s distortions.

      However, Corbyn isn’t very clever at avoiding traps – as when he refused to meet May. In both cases he had a perfectly good reason for doing what he did, but was a bit dumb to take the option that he did in terms of biting the hook.

      1. Perhaps, but the fact is, whatever Corbyn does, he’ll get criticised. No. Matter. What.

        If he stayed, I’m sure someone at the beeb or some bots would have complained that he didn’t talk/engage, that he was uncooperative or anything stupid like that.

        No. Matter. What.

      2. Yes – but it’s quite simple. You don’t make it easy for the opposition by doing what it wants. They would have had a much harder time trying to make a story out of a total non-story.

        The point is that – in both cases – he was making a gesture with no positive side. Save non-crucial gestures for positive outcomes and don’t feed the competition. Basic public relations stuff.

      3. ‘Yes – but it’s quite simple. You don’t make it easy for the opposition by doing what it wants. They would have had a much harder time trying to make a story out of a total non-story.’

        It didn’t appear to be a problem for them in relation to Ken Livingstone, or when JC didn’t bow his head to the Queen that time, for example, and does anyone really think that Umunna somehow decided on the spur of the moment to ‘gate-crash’ a meeting he knew full well he hadn’t been invited to attend. As if! And Jeremy knew it of course, and that’s why he walked out in disgust at their machinations.

        I posted the following Daily Express article a few weeks ago in relation to JC not bowing his head – which he wasn’t supposed to of course – but this is the headline that they gave THAT particular non-story (and you can be 150% certain that it was all pre-planned that May would bow her head precisely so that the corporate media – ie the Establishment’s propaganda machine – could then attack Jeremy for not doing so) Anyway, here it is again for anyone that didn’t see it before:

        NATIONAL DISGRACE: Jeremy Corbyn refuses to bow to Queen and then WINKS at colleagues


      4. And but for the fact that Jeremy is leader of the LP, we wouldn’t have heard a dickybird from the corporate fascist-controlled media about anti-semitism in the LP, either ACTUAL anti-semitism OR – as is the case in the vast majority of cases – the totally contrived and fabricated accusations of anti-semitism.

        I mean it must be hard enough for Jeremy to attend any meetings with Theresa May, who has of course dissembled and reiterated the anti-semitism falsehood herself on more than a few occasions, but to then have the guy that dissembled the Big Lie – in true Joseph Goebbels fashion – that the LP is “institutionally racist”…… well, would YOU want to be anywhere near such a dispicable and malignant being! They are ALL fascists, and they no doubt smirk when the opportunity arises, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s EXACTLY what Umunna did that led to Jeremy walking out – ie smirked when Jeremy glanced at him.

      5. With that list of other issues, I think you’ve actually proved my point about picking when to ignore and when to make a point.

        There have been misjudgements in terms of the more significant issues of the antisemitism scam and positioning in relation to May. I don’t think that Corbyn has a high enough quality of support.

      6. Er, No RH, I just DISproved your point. Or did you somehow miss it! I really can’t help wondering sometimes if you’re a Blairite posing as a Corbynista. You certainly suddenly appeared out of nowhere about five or six months ago, and come across as a full-time poster, and ESPECIALLY in relation with anything related to Brexit.


      7. Oh dear, Allan. I think your predilection for conspiracy is becoming a bit extreme! The Labour Party contains quite a large spectrum of opinion – and those that don’t immediately appeal to you aren’t all ‘Blairite’.

    2. Wark, with her pretentious reading glasses prop, constantly putting them on then taking them off again, is possibly the most obnoxious, self-important news presenter on TV. It’s a crowded field, though. Cathy Newman, Jo Coburn and Fiona Bruce are all close behind.

      What they all share (apart from gender) is a firm belief that they are far more important than the person they’re interviewing, constantly interrupting because they much prefer the sound of their own voice.

      The media, like politics, has become a magnet for these careerists, who prioritise self-promotion over the job they’re supposed to be doing.

      The end result is plummeting levels of trust in both the MSM and politicians. Very depressing!

      1. I very rarely watch Newsnight these days, but I don’t think the interrupting is because Wark – or any of the others you mention – likes the sound of her own voice. It’s a premeditated strategy used against JC supporters, whilst everyone else gets an easy ride. And the same applies to when Bruce weighed in against Diane Abbot to back up the falshood that Isabel Oakshott was dissembling. It was pre-planned so as to make Diane look stupid, and Bruce’s ‘explanation’ the following week was totally disingenuous of course.

  5. Just came across this article on the BBC News website published on April 30th, 2016, and the headline itself tells you just how disingenuous and totally fraudulent they are. The headline states: ‘Ken Livingstone stands by Hitler comments’, implying of course that neither the author of the article (whose name is omitted as far as I can see), or the author’s editors, thought to check to see if what Ken said was true. Hmm, as if!

    It WOULD of course be the most basic thing any journalist worthy of the title would do, and it is inconceivable that they WOULDN’T have done so and, in so doing, learnt that Ken was alluding to the Haavara Agreement. But they would have us believe that they DIDN’T!

    In other words, the author of the piece and their editors – who would of course have been completely aware of all the (faux) outrage and condemnation directed at Ken – were more than happy to play along with it INSTEAD of informing their viewers/readers – who, in the case of those based in the UK, pay their wages – that what KL said was an historical fact AND, as such, given their readers some details about the Havaara Agreement AND how it led to the lifting of the Zionist boycott of Nazi Germany in 1933, etc.

    But not only did they NOT do that, but they then quote a LP shadow cabinet minister who criticised Ken – ie Jonathan Ashworth – AND also mention the fraudulent and contrived attack on Ken by John Mann in which he called Ken a “Nazi apologist. Here’s an extract from the article:

    Mr Livingstone, who has been a close ally of Mr Corbyn and his left-wing ideals, said he believed the attacks against him were coming from the right-wing of the party and were really aimed at undermining the leadership.

    “The really appalling thing here is dishonest MPs who know that what I said is true have stirred up all this nonsense because they want to damage our chances at the local election so they then have a chance of undermining Jeremy.”

    Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth said it was Mr Livingstone who was undermining Mr Corbyn, and urged him to “put a sock in it”.

    He told the BBC: “I was offended by Ken’s remarks. I think Ken crossed a line. I’m not a bitter former Blairite… I am proud to serve in Jeremy’s shadow cabinet.”


    Right, so he was offended by someone alluding to an historical fact and, as such, thought they’d crossed a line. Yeah, yeah , yeah! Are we REALLY supposed to believe that he TOO didn’t think to take a couple of minutes to check to see if what Ken said was true! What a total disgrace these people are, not only subverting democracy and deceiving people, but primarily being complicit in smearing a totally honest and decent and completely innocent person. As for John Mann, well he would have been TOTALLY at home in Hitler’s Nazi Germany! And I REALLY *do* mean that!


    1. AND being a party to, and being complicit in, causing concern and consternation in a large section of the Jewish community! There are not words to express the contempt and disgust I feel towards HIM, and all the other hundreds of people who have colluded in this massive fraud of the British population and beyond. And the members of the Jewish community who have been complicit in this black op Smear Campaign are not only traitors of democracy, but traitors of their own religion, not to mention the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Pure evil!

    2. Yes – but you are underestimating the responsibility that the Party machinery has for, at best, not opposing the ‘antisemitism’ narrative and, at worst, confirming that narrative.

      Just remember the IHRA affair. That didn’t require any devious day-to-day conspiracy by the Beeb. The NEC nexus just surrendered.

      … and that’s just one example of the lack of fight-back, whilst energy is wasted in insignificant gestures such as not talking to May or walking out because of Umunna’s unwanted presence. It’s really not very discriminating or bright.

  6. ‘Just remember the IHRA affair. That didn’t require any devious day-to-day conspiracy by the Beeb. The NEC nexus just surrendered.’

    You were obviously on holiday at the time, presumably on another planet!

      1. Not at all. The NEC surrendered to the dominant narrative (admittedly the same narrative as that promulgated by the Beeb) – after a shameful record (admittedly under a previous regime) of the treatment of anti-racist members supporting Palestinians.

        Has there been a beneficial change in terms of standing up to the Israel lobby? I think Chris Williamson remains suspended. I think Hodge remains unsuspended.

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