Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eagle: Labour Can't Be the New 'Nasty Party'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eagle: Labour Can't Be the New 'Nasty Party'

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Woodcock and Benjamin Wright Reporters

LABOUR risks becoming the "new nasty party", leadership candidate Angela Eagle has warned.

Ms Eagle borrowed Theresa May's famous 2002 description of the Conservatives as she called for action from the Labour leadership on "abuse, misogyny, homophobia (and) anti-Semitism" affecting the party.

Her call came shortly after Labour's National Executive Committee suspended all local party meetings amid reports of intimidation, bullying and threatening behaviour.

The party has suspended its constituency party in Brighton and Hove and annulled the results of a recent election following accusations of abusive behaviour, an improper ballot and entryism by far-left activists.

Turning Jeremy Corbyn's "kinder politics" catchphrase against him, Ms Eagle said that Labour needed "a kinder politics in reality" and must not end up "in the gutter".

The former shadow business secretary, who quit the shadow cabinet to launch her challenge to Mr Corbyn's position, asked party members at a social event in Wolverhampton: "What attracted you to the Labour Party in the first place? I'm guessing it didn't involve abuse, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism and the opportunity to picket Labour events ...

"The Labour Party can't become the new nasty party for women, or indeed for anyone else. It's a place where everyone should play a part. Men and women. Old and young. Black and white. Gay and straight ... We need a kinder politics in reality, which is why I've called on the leadership to not just call out such behaviour but to take action too.

"I don't want Labour in the gutter. I want it in power."

Ms Eagle said that ordinary party members had been "let down by those at the top of the party.

Her comments came as her rival for the Labour leadership, Owen Smith, won the backing of one of Mr Corbyn's most loyal MPs. …

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