Jeremy Corbyn is a “dangerous leader of a very dangerous party”, Cabinet Minister Liam Fox warned today as he set out his fears of a Labour government.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference this afternoon, the International Development Secretary claimed “extremists” were now running the Labour Party.
Fox, who was appearing at HuffPost UK Waugh Zone fringe event, urged his Conservative colleagues to show no complacency when it comes to taking the fight to Labour, despite the Tories seemingly superior poll ratings.
His attack on Corbyn was followed up by Tory Party Chairman Patrick McLoughlin, who described the prospect of the Islington North MP in Downing Street as “appalling”.
But it was Fox who delivered the most damning assessment of Labour, telling HuffPost UK: “I do not find Jeremy Corbyn funny and I think that it’s extremely dangerous for the Conservative Party or any other political grouping to say: ‘This party has now taken such leave of its senses it couldn’t possibly be elected.’
“Electoral circumstances are unpredictable – we know that from history.
“This is a very dangerous leader of a very dangerous party at the present time.
“A party that doesn’t believe in Nato, that would abandon our nuclear weaponry, that doesn’t believe in most of the accepted rules of our economics. This is a very dangerous party indeed.”
Fox compared the current internal Labour battles with those the party faced in the 1980s, but as far as he is concerned there is one key difference.
He said: “When we thought Militant tendency were dangerous under Neil Kinnock, but the difference was Neil Kinnock was fighting militant tendancy. Momentum are the Jeremy Corbyn supporters.
“This time the extremists have the support of the leadership and I don’t think that’s been pointed out very explicitly.
“It’s a very dangerous movement.”
He added: “Our job is to make sure there is never any chance that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party should govern the country that we love. We should never, ever allow that to happen.”
At last week’s Labour conference Corbyn was elected party leader for the second time in a year – a victory which came with an increased majority.
Yet a HuffPost UK opinion poll published last week showed 70 per cent of all voters preferred Theresa May and Philip Hammond in power to Corbyn and John McDonnell.
Speaking to Tory activists this afternoon, McLoughlin said the party “simply can’t afford, now more than ever, to let the Labour party near a sniff of power.”
He added: “Imagine, for just a second or two, Labour win the 2020 general election:
“Jeremy Corbyn is in Downing Street raising the red flag.
“John McDonnell is raising every tax he can find and inventing new ones.
“Diane Abbott is running the Health Service.
“Ken Livingstone, twice defeated by our Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London but somehow undeterred perched in the backseat of the Prime Ministerial car.
“Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson locked in the boot…well, every cloud has a silver lining.
“But just because the prospect is appalling doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.”