Labour under Corbyn has 'been asleep on the job' - Alastair Campbell

PUBLISHED: 08:13 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 30 July 2019

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a rally in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a rally in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Alastair Campbell, the director of communications during Tony Blair's time as prime minister, has accused Labour under Jeremy Corbyn of being "asleep on the job" as he explained his decision to no longer support the party.

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Campbell was expelled from the party in May after admitting voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections as a protest and had planned to appeal against the decision.

But in an open letter to Corbyn, published in full by The New European, the former Labour spin doctor said, "with some sadness but absolute certainty, I have reached the conclusion that I no longer wish to stay in the party, even if I should be successful in my appeal or legal challenge".

"The culture you have helped to create has made the party one that I feel no longer truly represents my values, or the hopes I have for Britain," he told Corbyn in the letter.

As part of media interviews around the letter he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that with Jeremy Corbyn he has got to look deep into himself and say is he up to the job, is he up to the challenge that (he) now faces because if not, we are heading to a very dark, dangerous place with an unbelievably right-wing, populist government and the answer to which is not a populism of the left."

He added: "I don't think it's personal, I think I'm saying what I think, it's based on a lot of experience of campaigns and of politics, and reading it as I read it now, Labour is facing its own existential crisis... I think there is a danger that we're going to be destroyed as a serious credible political force unless we face up to the reality of what's going on."

He continued: "He has not led on Brexit, the anti-Semitism issue, there has not been proper leadership, they kid themselves that there's a policy agenda out there that the country is even aware of."

Asked if he would be joining the Lib Dems, Campbell said: "No, I don't feel I'm close to other parties, but I do think if we do get to a general election and the choice facing the country is Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn all sorts of things are going to happen because that is not a choice that this country finds remotely palatable."

Campbell said he wanted to support Labour, but added Corbyn's Labour Party had "been taken over by people who until recently were Communists, they were Stalinists and they still are in my view and I think it's time to stop pretending all of us, members, MPs, let's stop pretending that this is the Labour Party that we really believe in."

On Boris Johnson, he said: "He's now focusing on Jeremy Corybn and the weakness of his leadership as a way of trying to clear the decks towards a general election, blaming Europe, blaming the civil service, blaming parliament for blocking him and he thinks, probably rightly, that the country's decided they will not put Jeremy Corbyn into office and I think we have to face up to that truth."

MORE: Read in full Alastair Campbell's letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Last week, Tony Blair side-stepped questions about whether he will vote Labour at the next general election.

Pressed three times on the matter on BBC2's Newsnight, the closest he came to giving an endorsement to the party he led to three election victories was that he "wants" to vote Labour.

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