Jeremy Corbyn has described Owen Jones’ criticism of his Labour leadership as not “welcome” and “slightly unfair”.
But the Labour leader said that he and the Guardian columnist and author remained good friends despite their differences.
Jones wrote a lengthy Medium blog last week that criticised Corbyn’s “disastrous polling”, his lack of a media strategy and lack of a strategy to win over Tory, UKIP, SNP and older voters.
A long-time supporter of the Islington North MP, Jones said that there was no clear vision of what the country would look like under a Corbyn premiership and warned Labour and the Left ‘teeter on the brink of disaster’.
The piece sparked a backlash, as Corbyn supporters accused Jones of betraying the Labour leader at a time he most needed defending.
Manuel Cortes, the TSSA union chief blogged for HuffPost that Jones was now taking part in the anti-Corbyn “back-stabbing”.
Asked in an interview with The Huffington Post UK if he agreed with Cortes, Corbyn replied: “No. Owen wrote a piece that I… well quite honestly, I didn’t welcome it. I did read it, I thought it was slightly unfair.
“But I tell you what, the next day he wrote an absolutely brilliant piece about the treatment of migrant workers and the Home Office and you know what I retweeted that to my 603,000 followers immediately, because I was so impressed by that article.”
Jones has 200,000 fewer Twitter followers than the Labour leader.
But Corbyn added: “Listen, Owen is a good friend, I’ve known Owen for a very long time. He is a very committed journalist, people are going to write things that each other don’t agree with. Do they have to fall out as a result? No.”