John McDonnell Under Fire Over Ken Loach Attack On Labour MPs

McDonnell, when asked on Radio 5 about the threat yesterday said he was not in favour of mandatory reselection, but said it was upto the local party ultimately to decide.

“Where there are, because of boundary changes, re-selection, that is dealt with at the local level. Labour leadership doesn’t involve itself in local selections. It’s up to the local party – that’s democracy.”

He repeated his stance to the PLP, but MPs groaned when he suggested the issue was about boundary changes. Some muttered further when he described Benn as “a friend”.

“He said ‘we need to be straight with people’, but he wasn’t straight himself. People were upset that he had the gall to say he was a mate of Hilary’s,” one of those present told HuffPost UK.

McDonnell’s spokesman said: “Overall, John thought it was a constructive discussion”.

“John was asked about Labour party democracy. He pointed out that Hilary Benn is a friend of his, and the Labour leadership will not intervene in local party democracy.”

The Shadow Chancellor spent more than 20 minutes setting out what would be his ‘three tests’ for the Autumn Statement: a credible fiscal framework that ends ‘austerity’; protection for those hit by cuts and new funding for public services.

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