Mandelson: Corbyn’s presence threatens to ‘render party unelectable’

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Mandelson: Corbyn’s presence threatens to ‘render party unelectable’

Party's former head of communications said 'under Corbyn, Labour's brand was trashed, its organisation reduced to rubble. Nobody knew what it meant and didn’t much like it'

Peter Mandelson (Wikipedia/ SourceL Copyright World Economic Forum ( / Natalie Behring. Author: World Economic Forum on Flickr / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))
Peter Mandelson (Wikipedia/ SourceL Copyright World Economic Forum ( / Natalie Behring. Author: World Economic Forum on Flickr / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Lord Peter Mandelson last night warned that Jeremy Corbyn’s presence in Labour threatens to “render the party unelectable”.

His comments came during the final session of the Jewish Labour Movement’s virtual One Day Conference, held in partnership with Labour Friends of Israel.

“There still seem to be two Labour Parties,” he said, while being interviewed by journalist Gabriel Pogrund. “A party that is recognisably mainstream with decent core values, that has inherited the tremendous social democratic achievements of successive Labour governments.

“But alongside that during the last four years has been a completely different Labour Party: A rag-bag of far-left individuals who people cannot relate to… and throughout have associated with the poison of anti-Jewish racism.

Peter Mandelson during the JLM One Day Conference

“As long as Jeremy Corbyn and the people around him are there, I think this is going to create endless confusion for the public. And while Jeremy persists in what he is doing, he is going to render the Labour Party unelectable.”

In October, the EHRC’s report into Labour’s antisemitism crisis concluded that there were “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination for which the Labour Party is responsible.”

Mr Corbyn was thereafter suspended by the party for claiming that “the scale of the problem was… dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents”.

On the road ahead, Labour’s former Director of Communications added: “Keir has to realise what an incredibly complex job he has on his hands, because he has inherited what is barely recognisable as a political party from his predecessor.

“Under Jeremy, the party’s brand was trashed and its organisation was reduced to rubble. Nobody knew what a vote for Labour meant anymore and didn’t much like it.”

“In many respects, Keir is building from the base upwards. He must relay the moral foundations of our party… a formidable task.”

Meanwhile, co-author of bestselling ‘Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn’, Gabriel Pogrund, told delegates that “Corbyn appeared at points to feel more sorry for himself than those on the receiving end of abuse.”

The Sunday Times Whitehall Correspondent added that whilst Sir Keir could “100%” steer his way through the antisemitism crisis, from a “journalist’s point of view” he was “not particularly impressed by Starmer’s ability on party management”.

“I don’t sense much clarity of message but there’s no doubt things can only get better. There will have to come a point where people say, are we internally broadly okay with where we are?

“However, many ex-Labour Jewish MPs have not felt comfortable coming back yet, suggesting we are not quite there. There’s a long way to go and Starmer needs to map out what he wants to do.”

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