New heights in Labour's civil war were reached on Friday, as MPs piled in to rebuke Ken Livingstone for claiming the 7/7 terrorists "gave their lives" and killed British citizens in "protest" against the Iraq War.
Prominent parliamentary figures queued up to brand Livingstone "shameful" and criticise a "deeply depressing" performance he gave on last night's Question Time.
Some also accused him of damaging Labour's electoral credibility, saying his suggestion Tony Blair was responsible for the July 7 attacks on London's transport network in 2005 was "despicable".
In moves likely to spark yet more conflict in the already torn Labour Party over Syria, MP Wes Streeting led the charge late on Thursday night.
He accused Livingstone of levying greater 'vociferous attacks' on his own party's record in government than the current Cameron-fronted administration.
Ken Livingstone has been more vociferous in his attacks on the last Labour government than the current Tory one. Deeply depressing. #bbcqt— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) November 26, 2015
Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, followed suit with a stinging riposte at Livingstone, calling his arguments "shameful" and a "total disgrace".
Ken Livingstone just blamed Tony Blair for London bombings. Total disgrace. The people responsible are the terrorists. I think it's shameful— Ian Austin (@IanAustinMP) November 26, 2015
Also incensed was Tom Blenkinsop, who took aim at Livingstone for staying silent on tax credits being introduced under Tony Blair.
Ah, Ken Livingstone slags previous #Labour government off, again, and again, and again.— Tom Blenkinsop (@TomBlenkinsop) November 26, 2015
Ken Livingstone doesn't mention that those Tax credits exist precisely because of a previous Labour Government he opposed and attacked— Tom Blenkinsop (@TomBlenkinsop) November 26, 2015
While MP John Woodcock had clearly had enough when he wrote: "Not politely taking this anymore... No-one has mandate to side with suicide bombers, praise 'bomb and bullet'."
Not politely taking this anymore.. No one has mandate to side with suicide bombers, praise "bomb and bullet" https://t.co/JR3qLoMqBP— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) November 26, 2015
He also issued an impassioned plea to Labour members to "hang in there", in the light of a turbulent 24-hours for Labour after Jeremy Corbyn said he would not back air-strikes on Isis in Syria.
"You are not alone... we need you," Woodcock wrote.
Labour people who feel bewildered by comments, events and stories of last 24 hours: you are not alone, hang in there, we need you.— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) November 26, 2015
Jamie Reed kept his cutting analysis short and sharp, posting a link to a news article on Livingstone's Iraq War comments simply saying: "Shameful."
Shameful https://t.co/k3ElvKBb7V— Jamie Reed (@jreedmp) November 27, 2015
But the harshest criticism of all was dealt by Mike Gapes, an MP who has been a vehment critic of 'Corbynistas' and backed rival candidate in the race for Labour leadership Liz Kendall.
Gapes said ex-MP Livingstone had "sunk to a new low" on Thursday, ridiculing his 'Question Time' analysis of what precipitated 7/7.
Despicable Livingstone has sunk to a new low. Terrorism never the fault of perpetrators. It's always Blairs fault. https://t.co/qcXmOLFdvK— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) November 27, 2015
Their attacks on Livingstone are likely to lead to yet more in-fighting in Labour over the party's continuous divides on key policies - first on Trident, then Corbyn's response to the Paris attacks, then his comments on 'shoot-to-kill'.
Livingstone especially has proven a divisive figure in recent weeks, being forced to apologise for telling a shadow minister with a history of depression that "he might need some psychiatric help".
After uproar from several members of the Opposition frontbench, Corbyn intervened personally, telling the ex-GLC leader to retract his comment.
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