UK
26/02/2016 10:45 GMT | Updated 26/02/2016 11:59 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn's 'Momentum' Campaign Members 'Have No Place In Labour' Says MP

John Spellar, left; a group of 'Momentum' supporters wave placards, right

A Labour MP and ex-shadow minister has attacked Jeremy Corbyn's grassroots support group 'Momentum' for being a Trotskyist "rag bag" whose members "have no place in the Labour party".

John Spellar, who previously called for Corbyn to resign over divisions during last year's Syria vote, said the 60,000 members of his leader's unofficial campaign team were "deplorable" for letting Government ministers get away with misrepresenting data on NHS weekend death stats.

Spellar stepped down as a shadow foreign minister of his own volition in June 2015, during Harriet Harman's stint as interim Labour leader.

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK, the Warley MP called Momentum members left-wing "extremists" who were making his party unelectable and leaving ordinary working people to suffer.

jeremy corbyn

Momentum is the unofficial campaign supporting Corbyn

"What I find so deplorable about [Momentum members] is they are actually enabling this government to get away with all sorts of things.

"Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron this week completely misrepresented the data on deaths in hospitals on weekends - the whole charade's been a big fabrication.

"They're largely getting away with it. That's the real criticism; this malign government is being allowed to rig the electoral system and getting away with appalling attacks on people while all Momentum are doing is trying to change very longstanding Labour policy. It's civil war.

He added: "Many of them are Trotskyists."

david cameron

David Cameron defending the death stats claims on Wednesday

Quizzed on news shadow chancellor John McDonnell has called for the unit that vets membership applications for entryists to be scrapped, Spellar said: "It's just absurd.

"We are a democratic Labour Party - and therefore people who are not democratic are not in it to support us but instead advance their own political Trotskyist polices.

"They have no place in the Labour Party."

He reasoned that Momentum were leading Labour on a road to electoral pummelling in 2020, and that voters in Northern and Midlands constituencies would be left worse-off because the party was being pushed to the political fringes.

"It’s not just the Labour Party who loses - it’s ordinary working people, especially in parts of the North and the Midlands."

Referencing an appearance earlier that day on the BBC's 'Daily Politics' programme when Spellar admitted to using "Momentum member" as an insult, he added: "That’s why I get so incensed about it and why I quite happily made those comments."

Watch the fiery exchange between him, Peter Hitchens and columnist Zoe Williams below...