Paul Mason comes out fighting at Progress amid boos over attack on Labour HQ

Paul Mason was subjected to boos and hisses today as he told Labour activists the party would not revert to being a “centrist” institution.

The broadcaster and cheerleader for Jeremy Corbyn was often the focal point of a rowdy debate at Progress conference in London.

One delegate won a standing ovation for confronting Mason over tweets, posted in the aftermath of Labour’s surprise general election performance, which suggested that orders from party headquarters had squandered the chance of a victory over the Tories.

Mason rejected claims this amounted to “intimidation” and said Labour was no longer a party that would back “illegal wars”.

“If you want a centrist party this is not going to be it for the next ten years”, he said, while pointing to the fact that “200,000 people” were this afternoon listening to Corbyn speak at the Glastonbury music festival while chanting his name.

Mason was part of an impassioned debate alongside shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, Ilford North backbencher Wes Streeting, former leadership challenger Liz Kendall and Times chief leader writer Philip Collins.

Collins, a former advisor to Tony Blair, has called for those on the centre-left to form a new party but Streeting told activists to stay in Labour because it was the “only vehicle for social justice”.

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