Disagreeing with your party leader is not a new thing: Ted Heath disagreed with Mrs T for decades, Cyril Smith was out of step with successive Liberal and Lib Dem leaders on issues like capital punishment, and of course Jeremy Corbyn rebelled against more than one Labour leader in his time on the back benches. But none of those people were as openly and gratuitously bitter and spiteful as Wes Streeting.
Streeting is the nominally Labour MP for Ilford North. He does not agree with his party’s leadership. Stuff happens in the broad church that is a major political party. But the depths to which he has sunk in his latest attack on one of his own fellow Labour MPs shows he has ventured so far beyond the pale as to be totally out of order.
Laura Pidcock MP
He latched on to a heavily edited video segment featuring North West Durham MP Laura Pidcock, taken at the Durham Miners’ Gala last weekend. Here, an advisor suggests something is “unfair” and asks if anyone wants to talk about the Gala. In goes Streeting: “I appreciate hard questions on Labour’s appalling handling of antisemitism are uncomfortable, but if you’re a shadow minister get used to it. Better still, do something to sort it out. Attack racism, not the media”. Then he left his foot in the tackle.
“Apparently the victims of antisemitism in the Labour Party are Labour’s leadership, shadow ministers, MPs and members with a penchant for sharing imagery worthy of the Nazis. At some point all of the above might appreciate that the victims of antisemitism are Jews”. There was a problem with this reaction: the question had already been addressed.
This proves he didn't see the full interview
The full version of the interview shows Ms Pidcock happily answering questions about accusations of anti-Semitism. Streeting apparently saw what interested him, and failed to do his homework. He could have held his hands up and said sorry. But he did not.
After Ms Pidcock put out a statement yesterday telling “I’m not going to get into a Twitter spat about this, but there are some facts that need to be stated about a video that has been circulated from a press session I took part in yesterday morning” (Facebook post HERE), Streeting readied his excuses. They weren’t good enough.
“I’m not interested in twitter spats either and happy to discuss offline. For the benefit of those tweeting me: 1. My criticism wasn’t that Laura failed to answer questions - I disagree with her answers 2. We will not get a hearing on issues whilst antisemitism remains unresolved”. Let’s take this nice and slowly, shall we?
One, he attacked one of his party colleagues on an open Twitter feed, so forget the mealy mouthed “Let’s take it offline”. Two, Ms Pidcock did not tag him in her Tweet, so someone has a guilty conscience. Three, had Streeting been interested in her answers, he should have linked to the full video, which he did not. And Four, if he’s so keen to see the Anti-Semitism issue resolved, what’s he doing to help resolve it, apart from stuff all?
This is how "not interested in spats" he is
And while we’re at it, if he’s so keen on comradely discussion, what’s he doing RTing Tracy Ann Oberman snapping “I hope he brings down the whole shitty Corbyn Experiment”, and indeed RTing Matt Forde’s crude anti-Semitic own goal attack on the Labour leadership?
Spare us the whinnying excuses, Wes Streeting. Just stop it, and say sorry.
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