Corbyn must sack his aides to end the incompetence, says Labour grandee

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry on the European elections campaign trail in Lambeth. Photograph: Stefan...

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry on the European elections campaign trail in Lambeth. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Former Labour home secretary and party grandee David Blunkett has called for Jeremy Corbyn to sack his closest advisers to save the party from collapse.

Labour performed poorly in the European elections, and has since been mired by scandal surrounding the expulsion of Alastair Campbell following the results, more cases of anti-seminitism, and claims of a sexual harrassment cover-up.

Writing in the Observer, Blunkett said that Labour was "imploding" over its stance on Europe, and the "incompetence" at the top.

"Together with Jeremy Corbyn himself, Seumas Milne [his director of strategy], Karie Murphy [chief of staff] and the leader of Unite, Len McCluskey, must surely be held to account for the direction Labour has taken," he says.

He adds: "There is not going to be an attempted coup against Corbyn so there has to be a very different approach to saving the party and the chance of defeating this shambles of a Conservative government."

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He calls on the trade unions and Momentum to help make it happen to ensure a change in fortune for the party.

"In my view there are two forces within the Labour movement - the unions and Momentum - who must now act to get rid of those key advisers who are a block on policy changes and who are responsible for the incompetence we are seeing.

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"The major unions have historically played a key role in the stability of the Labour party, taking difficult and sometimes painful action when failure had to be dealt with. This is such a moment."

A Labour source disputed the claims, and said the attacks on Corbyn would damage the party in the process.

"This attack should be seen for what it is, an attempt to weaken and undermine Jeremy Corbyn by people who know they are unable to oust him and are prepared to damage the Labour party in the process."

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