Alastair Campbell's Labour expulsion: How the internet reacted

Campbell was expelled for supporting the Lib Dems in the EU elections

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

MPs, Labour supporters and political commentators have aired their views online after Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell was expelled from the Labour Party today.

The People’s Vote campaigner admitted that he voted for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections, and told talkRADIO he would “consider” supporting them again in a general election.

Commenting on his expulsion, a Labour Party spokesman said that "support for another political party or candidate is incompatible with party membership".

But Labour MP Jess Phillips has questioned why action was taken on Mr Campbell’s case so quickly.

"He was expelled quicker than a man who threatened to kill me, quicker than a man in my CLP who denied the Holocaust, both are only still suspended," she wrote.

And Blackadder actor Sir Tony Robinson was one of many who questioned Labour’s efficiency in dealing with Mr Campbell, particularly on the same day an official investigation into antisemitism within the party launched.

"Blimey! Labour struggling for years to take disciplinary action against members accused of antisemitism but managed to expel Alastair Campbell for voting Lib Dem over the course of one Bank Holiday weekend," he joked on Twitter.

"Amazing new efficiency!".

The anti-Brexit campaigner quit the Labour party earlier this month over its stance on leaving the EU, and said Jeremy Corbyn had been “complete s*** as leader”.

Many commentators drew comparisons between Alastair Campbell's case and Labour MP Kate Hoey, who has a close relationship with Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

Brexiteer Ms Hoey defended Brexit Party candidates in the run up to the European elections.

“We don’t have to celebrate the success of the Brexit Party, but we do need to acknowledge it,” she wrote after the party won 29 seats.

Twitter users have questioned why Ms Hoey remains a Labour member while Mr Campbell was expelled.

"I’ve witnessed Kate Hoey share a stage with Nigel Farage, in front of an image mocking Jeremy Corbyn. Across the street on another stage was Tommeh (sic) Robinson," Twitter user Ali Samson wrote.

"Kate Hoey is still a Labour member. Alastair Campbell has been expelled today."

Self-professed "staunch Labour" supporter Mark Davies took to Twitter to send words of support to Mr Campbell.

"There are so many Labour supporters on your side. I will never ever vote for Corbyn and I am usually staunch Labour," he wrote.

But not everyone was on Mr Campbell's side.

During the talkRADIO Mike Graham show, one caller from Southwark named Martin said he experienced "tears" of joy upon hearing of the expulsion.

"When I heard the news that Campbell was expelled, I could feel tears welling up. It's the best news I've heard in ages," he said.

And journalist Owen Jones drew attention to Labour Party rules, which state that a party member who supports another political organisation "shall automatically be ineligble" to remain a member.

Mr Jones wrote on Twitter: "Given it's a Labour Party rule that any member who publicly supports another party auto-excludes themselves - as it was when Tony Blair was leader - why is there any controversy over Alastair Campbell? Should the rules not apply to him, and if so, why?".

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