As the pressure piles in from Labour MPs on Jeremy Corbyn to stand down in the wake of the referendum result, Alan Johnson has added his voice to the cause. Johnson — who worked as the Chair of Labour In for Britain — has sent an email to Labour staff in which he criticises Corbyn’s leadership in the campaign.
Johnson starts by praising several key Remain figures such as Brian Duggan, the head of the campaign. He then goes on to point some of the blame at Corbyn and his team — writing that at times it felt as though the Leader’s office were ‘working against the rest of the Party and had conflicting objectives’:
It doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Johnson is expressing dissatisfaction with Corbyn over the campaign. There have been murmurs of discontent for some time over what Remain-ers saw as Corbyn’s reluctance get involved or even join Johnson regularly on the Labour battle bus.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this could also be viewed as an exercise in damage limitation on Johnson’s part. While the former Home Secretary admits that he needs to take his ‘share of responsibility’ too for the way the Labour campaign was run, he fails to mention how much responsibility that should be. In the final months of the campaign, a number of broadcasters claimed to be exasperated over the difficulties they encountered getting Johnson on air to discuss the Remain campaign.