SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell has lashed out at opponents of Jeremy Corbyn, accusing them of trying to “destroy” the Labour Party in order to get rid of their leader.
Mr McDonnell said there was a “small group” within the party responsible for the current turmoil which has seen it beset by allegations of bullying, intimidation and abuse.
His comments came after former shadow minister Seema Malhotra disclosed she had lodged a formal complaint with the Speaker John Bercow after staff working for Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell entered her House of Commons office without permission.
John McDonnell: Corbyn’s critics willing to ‘destroy’ Labour
Some of Jeremy Corbyn’s critics are willing to destroy Labour in order to remove him, John McDonnell says.
The shadow chancellor said “a small group of people” were responsible for the turmoil in the party.
He spoke as a new row broke out over “unauthorised access” to the office of ex-frontbencher Seema Malhotra.
Ms Malhotra has formally complained to the Speaker, saying Mr McDonnell and Mr Corbyn’s staff violated the privacy of her Westminster office.
Mr McDonnell said his office manager thought the premises were no longer occupied, and accused Mr Corbyn’s critics of picking on members of staff.
BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the spat mattered because it played into the wider row about claims of intimidation in the party’s ranks.