John McTernan: Membership has ‘cultish’ attitude to Jeremy Corbyn

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

John McTernan has accused the Labour membership of having a “Jeremy can do no wrong” attitude after a report into the party’s election defeat appeared to remove blame from Mr Corbyn.

The former adviser to Tony Blair told talkRADIO there were “still remnants of magical thinking” towards the outgoing leader.

“When he’s right he’s really right and when he’s wrong he’s wasn’t even present,” he told Mike Graham.

“In 2017 when Labour was beaten but did surprisingly well in the proportion of the votes everybody said ‘Jeremy saved the Labour Party!’

“2019 Labour gets a pummelling, absolute thrashing...and people say Jeremy wasn’t involved at all - basically that is cultish thinking, isn’t it?”

The poll at the end of last year saw Labour suffer its worst general election defeat since 1935, while the Conservatives soared to victory with an 80-strong majority.

The official report into the party’s devastating loss, written by election co-ordinators Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery, said it would be “unrealistic” not to blame the result on Brexit.

In the document circulated to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), the MPs said the party’s policy to hold a fresh EU referendum played a “decisive” role.

The review accepted there were “negative views” of Mr Corybn, there was little blame laid at any of his actions, saying his was subject of “unrelenting attacks” on his character.

It largely ruled out radicalism as being at fault but did admit that the sheer number of policies was confusing for the public.

Mr McTernan rejected this, saying: “The leader has to take the wrap for everything.”

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