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Jeremy Corbyn Media Team Twitter Account Criticised After Public Rebuke Of Former Labour MP

'Please don't do this..'

27/02/2017 10:13 | Updated 27 February 2017
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Jeremy Corbyn's media team have been criticised for hitting out at former Labour MP Jamie Reed

Labour MPs have shared their exasperation after Jeremy Corbyn’s media team publicly rebuked claims made by a former colleague.

The party leader’s communications staff attacked ex Copeland MP Jamie Reed via a Twitter account named ‘Labour Leader Media’.

The account responded to Reed’s claim that Corbyn himself suggested Labour could increase its majority in Copeland - which ultimately fell to the Conservatives by 2,147 votes last week.

“Saddest thing is that Jeremy told me he expected to increase the majority,” Reed wrote on Sunday, following the by-election triggered by his resignation.

But within hours, the Labour Leader Media account responded: “Jamie Reed should check his texts. It was he who wrote to Jeremy ‘we can increase the majority’ (24/12/16), not the other way round.”

Labour MPs including Stella Creasy, Gavin Shuker and Jess Phillips spoke out after the public spat.

“Spent weekend trying to convince people we are a cause worth fighting for @LOTOcomms - please don’t do this as damages us all,” Creasy wrote. 

Luton MP Shuker wrote: “Please stop embarrassing yourself.”

While Phillips teased: “If we’re sharing texts....”

The LOTOcomms Twitter account appears to be a part manifestation of a more combative media strategy from the leader’s team.

It has been used since February 12th to issue strongly-worded rebuttals of tweets and media stories critical of Corbyn’s leadership.

One tweet sent from the account on February 19th shared a Daily Mirror story, with the added caption: “This @MirrorOnline story is entirely untrue.”

Another sent on February 22nd responded to a Daily Telegraph story, saying: “If you’d asked us to comment @Telegraph, you’d know that we’re not.”

Politico Europe revealed last month Corbyn’s plan to “copy the Donald Trump playbook” in communicating directly on social media.

Trump became well known during his campaign for explosive reactions to stories critical of his leadership - a trait he has carried to the White House.

And with reference to American political drama ‘The West Wing’, Politico reported: “As part of a ‘let Corbyn be Corbyn’ approach, aides intend to take a relaxed approach to message discipline, even if it prompts controversy.”

A previous attempt by a campaign linked to Corbyn used a ‘fact check’ website to answer critics and reject perceived falsehoods.

But the project spectacularly backfired when people mocked the leader with the hashtag #CorbynFacts.

It comes after Corbyn appeared angered on Sunday when asked three times if he would be Labour’s leader for the 2020 general election.

“I’ve given you a very, very clear answer,” he said during a Sky News interview.

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