Jeremy Corybn’s Labour leadership campaign has attacked the party’s “purge” of members from the contest.
In an email to people eligible to vote sent this morning, Corbyn’s campaign said “party members will form their own judgments about the fairness of this election”.
Labour is weeding out people who applied to vote in the election who it believes do not shaire the “aims and values” of the party.
Last week shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused Labour officials of orchestrating a “rigged purge of Jeremy Corbyn supporters” in an attempt to help Owen Smith win.
And shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry yesterday said some in the party were doing their “level best” to deny Corbyn’s supporters a vote in the election.
The email, sent in the name of Andi Fox, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and a TSSA union official, said the party should be focused on attacking the Conservatives.
“Instead, our party is taking votes away from a union leader, an Orgreave justice campaigner, and thousands of ordinary party members including one young woman for doing nothing worse than to ‘love the Foo Fighters’,” the email said.
“Like Jeremy Corbyn I want to eliminate all forms of abusive behaviour, but party members will form their own judgments about the fairness of this election.
“Presently, very wealthy members who support a different candidate can donate over £2million to the Lib Dems who put the Tories in government for 5 years, or can compare Labour members to Nazi storm troopers.
“Labour doesn’t need a purge. We need to trust our members, stick to our principles, and take our message into our communities and workplaces. We need a reforming Labour government to rebuild and transform Britain.”
On Sunday, The Guardian reported Corbyn had written to Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, to complain about the vetting process.
“The online and press speculation around the reasons for suspension and how these are being dealt with are raising concerns about whether members are being treated in a consistent and proportionate manner,” he said.