Ken Livingstone to Julia Hartley-Brewer: 'Frank Field was propping up Theresa May'

Frank Field has become 'disconnected' from Labour, says Ken Livingstone

Friday, August 31, 2018

Ken Livingstone has accused Frank Field of becoming “completely disconnected” from the Labour Party.

The former Mayor of London, who resigned from the party over comments about Adolf Hitler, has said the MP for Birkenhead was shocked by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory.

Field resigned from the Labour Whip over the growing antisemitism accusations that have currently enveloped the party.

Talking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO, he said that people from his local party wanted to “get rid” of Field anyway.

He said that Field was one of four Labour MPs who have been “propping up” Theresa May’s Governement.

“His local party has just decided basically they want to get rid of him because he was one of four Labour MPs who allowed Theresa May to remain in power by voting on one of the Brexit votes,” he said.

“If they actually voted with Labour they could’ve forced her to resign or call an election, so people are pretty furious that we've got four Labour MP propping up Theresa May’s government.”


‘Completely disconnected’

Field has declared he would stand as an independent Labour candidate at the next general election, with calls for him to invoke a by-election in his local constituency.

Despite calling him a “nice guy”, Livingstone went onto accuse Field of becoming “completely disconnected from the party”.

“Now Frank Field is a nice guy and he's done some very good work in his parliamentary career on social services and issues like that,” he said.

“I mean he's become a bit more eccentric he's even older than I am for god’s sake.

“He’s got completely disconnected from the Labour Party. He was under the complete support of Blair and all the new Labour stuff, and so the election of Jeremy Corbyn, I think, came as a real shock to him.

“Even more of a shock was at the last general election, when Labour’s vote went up by more than at any time for 73 years.”


Zionism comments

Ken Livingstone defends Naz Shah on BBC London in 2016. Listen above

Livingstone, who was forced to leave the Labour party, came under fire after he said Hitler "supported Zionism", while defending MP Naz Shah over alleged antisemitism.

He told Julia that he “never said that”.

“I still get people come up to me on the street and say I'm curious why you said Hitler was a Zionist to point out because I never said never said that,” he said.

“I mean I was chatting about three months ago to a senior party officer and he was saying that there were about 50 people in the party who tweeted something anti-Semitic. Now that's one out of every 10,000 members. 

“The Labour party has been spending 150 years fighting all forms of bigotry.”


‘Post-war Labour’

The announcement of Field resigning has seemingly put more pressure on Jeremy Corbyn, who has faced criticism over the handling of antisemitism within the party.

However, Livingstone believes that a Corbyn government would result in a “fairer Britain”.

“What you will get with Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street is something like that post-war Labour government under Clement Attlee that created the welfare state the NHS created a fairer Britain. He will stop rich people and corporations not paying their taxes. He's going to make a fairer Britain.”

“If Labour MPs hadn't spent all that time in the run up to the general election trying to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and all that nonsense, we might have pulled it off. We only had to take seven more seats than the Tories and Jeremy would be in Downing Street.”