A leading Shadow Cabinet moderate has issued a "sack me if you dare" challenge to Jeremy Corbyn by attacking the Labour leader's support for Stop the War & demanding the sacking of Ken Livingstone as a defence policy adviser.
Amid talk of a â€œrevenge reshuffleâ€ after the Syria vote revolt, shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher lashed out at the left-wing Labour leaderâ€™s anti-war views & bitterly attacked Mr Corbynâ€™s long-time ally, the former London mayor.
In a highly provocative interview in which he pulled no punches in his attacks on Labourâ€™s new leadership, Mr Dugher urged Mr Corbyn to confront the Stop the War leadership when he meets them at a fundraising dinner after this week.
"I think it might be quite useful if he went along to it because he can have a word with them as their former chairman & say to them â€˜stop the intimidation, stop the abuse & stop the talk of deselections & going after Labour MPs who voted in a way they didnâ€™t approve ofâ€™," he said.
Earlier this week, the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas announced she was quitting Stop the War because of her opposition to some of its recent statements, a move that has increased pressure on Mr Corbyn to disown the group & snub its dinner.
Mr Dugher, who was one of nine Shadow Cabinet members who defied Mr Corbyn & voted for airstrikes, is now one of the Shadow Cabinet moderates tipped for the sack in a â€œrevenge reshuffleâ€ by Mr Corbyn in the New Year.
On reports of a purge of moderates like him, Mr Dugher said: â€œWe should make a virtue of our differences & be able to have debates.
â€œThis is the new politics.
â€œIâ€™m not sure how revenge reshuffles sits with the new politics.
"Itâ€™s not for me to advise Jeremy on reshuffles & how he devises his team has received to be up to the leader. But Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll want to keep the party together."
Speaking to Parliamentâ€™s House magazine, the Barnsley East MP condemned Mr Livingstone, declaring: "If you find yourself in disagreement with Ken Livingstone, thereâ€™s a reasonable chance you are where most people in the country are."
Mr Dugher added: â€œEvery time he opens his mouth he manages to offend large numbers of people, so maybe he should just open his mouth a little less.â€
He said the Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray had received an email from someone who lost their fiancÃ© in the 7/7 attacks.
"She switches on the telly & sees Ken Livingstone likening the 7/7 terrorists to martyrs for a cause & blaming western foreign policy," he said.
â€œWhat do you think she thinks of the Labour party now? Do you think we can ever obtain that vote back? These were sick maniacs who need to be taken on & beaten for what they are.
â€œStop the justifications, stop the moral equivalence bull**** & see them for what they are.
â€œThese are people who want to destroy our way of life by causing murder & mayhem on the streets of the UK.
â€œThey are our enemy & we have to treat them as such.â€
Mr Dugher moreover hit out at Momentum, the far left pressure group which has been compared to the Militant Tendency of the 1980s, backing deputy leader Tom Watsonâ€™s description of the group as â€œa rabbleâ€.
Criticising its supporters for trying to stop MPs voting on the night of the Syria vote by blocking Parliament Square, he said: â€œYou donâ€™t need to create a new faction in the Labour Party which has been susceptible to entryists & which has at times resembled the mob.â€
Source: “Sky News”