What is the story?
On Monday, Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was the centre of sustained attacks from Labour MPs during a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) in the House of Commons.
Each Monday, Parliamentary Parties meet to discuss the week ahead. It is a chance for party leaders to explain to their MPs the policies they will be announcing over the next seven days, and to get their feedback on them. It is also a chance for backbench MPs (ones without official job titles) to voice their concerns or praises to the people at the top.
This week’s meeting was very different for Jeremy Corbyn and the PLP. Earlier in the day, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell announced that Labour would be voting against the Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to criminalise running a budget deficit during ‘normal times’.
In brief, this means that governments would be forced by law to spend less than they receive in taxes. Over the past 10 years, this has rarely, if ever, happened.
Labour’s problem arose as McDonnell has previously announced that the party would be voting for it.
For many, this showed a lack of leadership at the top of the party, and a lack of clear direction. In addition to the various scandals to have engulfed Jeremy Corbyn since becoming leader of the party last month, this led to a fiery meeting on Monday.
The MP for Exeter and former Deputy Leadership Candidate, Ben Bradshaw, described the meeting as a “total f****** shambles”, while an unnamed MP said it was the worse PLP meeting in living memory. Another MP described it as “absolutely mental”.
It is claimed that John McDonnell was blasted for his political naivety over the budget…