Diane Abbott has sparked uproar on social media after an interview on BBC's Today programme when she attempted to play down tensions in the shadow cabinet and clarify a cornerstone Labour pledge U-turned on yesterday.
The shadow international development secretary appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme defending colleague John McDonnell for reneging on support for greater austerity.
One Labour MP last night called the move a "fucking shambles", leading Abbott to hit back in her interview today, saying it was "a position that most of the PLP is comfortable with and I think most party members".
But Abbott's comments failed to pass muster with hundreds on social media, with commentators and even a fellow Labour MP piling in to rebuke her.
Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff led the charge, lamenting that McDonnell was not defending his policy shift himself.
So McDonnell isn't coming on #r4today to explain screeching Uturn on austerity. Diane Abbott is coming on to not explain it.— Gaby Hinsliff (@gabyhinsliff) October 13, 2015
The Daily Mail's Matt Chorley chimed in, too, sounding less than convinced that Abbott's appearance would abate Labour's economic credibility wobble.
Labour in 'total f***ing shambles'. Corbyn and McDonnell won't go on @BBCr4today. "We are joined now by Diane Abbott." Oh yes, that'll help— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) October 13, 2015
When she finally did get under way, the Hackney MP received a roasting from other aggrieved Twitter users.
Diane Abbott just explained that we can't afford Trident because we're in an age of austerity. A minute ago she said austerity is myth.— ian leslie (@mrianleslie) October 13, 2015
John McDonnell 'takes the deficit very seriously', says Diane Abbott, while laughing— Jason Groves (@JasonGroves1) October 13, 2015
Why does everything Diane Abbott say sound like a threat?— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) October 13, 2015
Diane Abbott on Today might be the final straw. Ffs.— India Knight (@indiaknight) October 13, 2015
But possibly the least impressed punter was Ilford South MP Mike Gapes.
The Labour and Co-op member blasted Abbott's performance as proof that: "There is now no collective Shadow cabinet responsibility in our Party, no clarity on economic policy and no credible leadership."
There is now no collective Shadow cabinet responsibility in our Party, no clarity on economic policy and no credible leadership. @BBCr4today— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) October 13, 2015
Gapes defended the remarks when questioned about his loyalty to a democratically elected leader, referencing Jeremy Corbyn's record on straying from the party line under previous incumbents.
"I will show loyalty in the same way as he was loyal to Kinnock Smith Blair Brown Beckett Miliband and Harman. Ok?"
I will show loyalty in the same way as he was loyal to Kinnock Smith Blair Brown Beckett Miliband and Harman. Ok ? https://t.co/8O3Ka2qRK9— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) October 13, 2015