Len McCluskey tells journalist she is ‘telling lies’ after asking about tweets from Momentum founder

Len McCluskey points his finger in the face of Sky News' Beth Rigby. Photograph: Sky.

Len McCluskey points his finger in the face of Sky News' Beth Rigby. Photograph: Sky. - Credit: Archant

Union boss Len McCluskey has repeatedly told a reporter she was 'telling lies' when she asked him about the Labour leadership's 'stitch-up' over Brexit.

Sky News' political editor Beth Rigby asked McCluskey about the widely-reported tweets sent by Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum and National Executive Committee member.

Rigby told the union boss: "Your friend Jon Lansman was really upset about the NEC statement. He said there hasn't been proper discussion, proper meetings, it's basically a stitch-up."

But looking down at Rigby, McCluskey insisted: "I'm not sure that's true. Don't be trying to cause division where division does not exist."

Rigby pointed out that "Jon Lansman has publicly said it".

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Pointing his finger, McCluskey responded: "Stop telling lies! You should be ashamed of yourself!"

Trying to get her point across again, Rigby pointed out he had publicly said this view, but McCluskey was not listening.

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"You should be ashamed of yourself!" he continued to repeat.

"I'm trying to tell you what Jon Lansman said," she explained to the Corbyn ally to little success.

Rigby was referring to Lansman's tweets which said: "I'm completely supportive of Jeremy's leadership but I'm incredibly disappointed with the process by which today's NEC statement on Brexit was produced. There was no meeting, no discussion, no consultation with the membership.

"On one of the biggest issues of the day, this is a travesty. Across the membership there are many different views on Brexit, and on conference floor members should feel free to vote with their conscience."

Viewers were unimpressed by the exchange, with most taking to social media to support Rigby's behaviour.

"A repulsive man who hates being questioned by women. Champagne Len McCluskey is a millionaire enabler of the Tories," said one.

Kevin Schofield said: "The attempt to discredit journalists has been the recurring theme of Labour conference - Jeremy Corbyn, Dawn Butler, Len McCluskey and others have all been at it. Depressing stuff."

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