Former PM Tony Blair hatched a plan to kick out “troublesome” Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Tony Blair hatched a plan in 2004 to kick Jeremy Corbyn out of the party.

Former minister Phil Woolas revealed it was proposed to withdraw the whip from Mr Corbyn and five other “troublesome” left wing MPs.

The plot involved them facing “show trials” where they had to pledge loyalty to Prime Minister Blair.

If they refused to do so they would be prevented from standing for the party at the next General Election.

Phil Woolas

Mr Woolas, then Deputy Leader of the Commons, said he was asked to brief the press about the move.

The story was that Labour Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong was promoting a plan to discipline Mr Corbyn for persistently rebelling against their own Government.

It appeared in The Daily Telegraph with the headline:

“Show trials” to axe MPs disloyal to Blair.

But Mr Woolas, the former MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said the scheme was later abandoned.

He revealed: “I think that one year out from the 2005 Election, Tony Blair changed his mind and decided it was better to have these idiots repeatedly voting against him to show that the Labour Party he led was responsible and sensible – not run by some demented Lefties.

“That said, if he had gone through with the plan, it would have saved the party from the nightmare of the last five years with Corbyn.”

Jeremy Corbyn

Only three years ago Ms Armstrong – now a Labour peer – told how Mr Blair stepped in to keep Mr Corbyn as an MP.

She told BBC Radio 4 how the PM decided he could put up with Mr Corbyn’s dissent.

 


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.



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