Ian Austin: Jeremy Corbyn's 'extreme views' make him unfit to lead Labour
Jeremy Corbyn's 'extreme views' make him unfit to lead a mainstream political party, a Labour MP has said.
Ian Austin has warned that Mr Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell were trying to turn the Labour party 'from a mainstream social democratic party into something very different'.
In his strongest attack yet on the hard left Labour leadership, the Dudley North MP criticised them for their apparent support of IRA terrorists and for cosying up to militant groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
He slammed them for backing totalitarian regimes, saying they had supported Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, and failed to deal with the Labour party's 'anti-Semitism crisis'.
Branding their leadership the most left-wing in Labour party history, Mr Austin also said it was ‘ludicrous’ to pretend that Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell were part of Labour’s great tradition and ‘would have supported a government led by Attlee and Bevin’.
He said their support for Marxism meant they had acted in ways that no previous senior Labour figures would have done.
"The truth is that Jeremy Corbyn and the hard left have taken over the Labour Party and want to turn it from a mainstream social democratic party into something very different," Mr Austin said.
"It’s got a different leadership, different policies and different values.
"They want to create a different party. That’s why mainstream social democrats do not support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership."
Mr Austin added: "Jeremy’s supporters – for whom he can do no wrong – will dismiss this as the usual bitter smears to undermine him.
"But it is much more fundamental than that.
"The reason I didn’t support Jeremy’s candidacy and have not been persuaded since is because I just don’t think people with track records of extreme views like Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell should lead a mainstream party."
He said the pair were 'outside the mainstream' over Northern Ireland, and cited as evidence Mr Corbyn inviting IRA terror suspects to the House of Commons two weeks after the IRA had murdered five people when bombing the Tory conference in 1984.
Mr Austin said Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell were 'campaigning for a victory for the Republican cause, not working for a peaceful agreement between the two bitterly divided sides'.
He added that the pair had supported totalitarian dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela and echoed the Russian dictatorship’s line on Ukraine.