Express & Star comment: Issues at Labour are a sad stain

It seems that hardly a day goes by without Tom Watson being accused of mounting a coup designed to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson

His calls for a second referendum and challenges to the Labour leadership over bullying and anti-Semitism are seen by many on the hard-left as part of some sort of grand plan to bring Mr Corbyn’s reign crashing down.

The reality is that Mr Corbyn is doing a sterling job of reducing his own time at the helm, chiefly through a series of appallingly handled issues that stain the modern day Labour Party.

Whether you agree with him or not, Mr Watson has clearly decided that it is his role to serve as a voice of common sense within the party, amongst an increasingly rabid bunch that worship at his leader’s altar.

The latest mark of shame against Labour concerns the decision to expel Alastair Campbell.

The King of Spin under Tony Blair, Mr Campbell certainly polarises opinion both inside the party and out.

Yet the swiftness of his exclusion – for admitting he had voted for the Lib Dems in the European elections – raises an awful lot of questions.

It is further evidence of how Labour’s disciplinary process has become an absolute shambles under Mr Corbyn.

Members accused of making the most horrendous anti-Semitic comments are given short suspensions or get away without sanction.

Moderate Labour MPs have been bullied and subjected to vile personal insults, often while the perpetrators walk away scot-free.

As West Midlands MP Jess Phillips pointed out, Mr Campbell was expelled while a Holocaust denier in her constituency was only suspended.

In his conference speech in 2015, Mr Corbyn called for an end to the abuse, insisting that his leadership would be synonymous with a “kinder politics”. Few were fooled by him then, and four years down the line his words come across as some kind of macabre joke.

Today’s Labour Party is ruthless when it comes to dealing with anyone who dares to take Mr Corbyn to task, but those who spread the hate-fuelled politics of the hard-left are protected.

Labour is as much a broad church today as it always has been.

It is just that any detractors from Project Corbyn are increasingly finding themselves locked outside.

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