Len McCluskey issued a response to Polly Toynbee’s article ‘Labour is on the brink in Peterborough. This byelection is a battle over its future‘. An edited version of his letter was published by The Guardian.
Below is the original text in full.
Polly Toynbee cannot help caricaturing herself as the metropolitan snob whose disregard for life outside north London still leaves her, three years on, struggling to understand the 2016 referendum result.
That is her affair. But she has no business caricaturing me as representing the “old, white male with a regional accent”, apparently a key figure in her demonology.
I would remind her of the tremendous diversity of the union I lead, and that it is those members that I speak for. I don’t need to make awayday trips to the “north” to find out what working people are thinking, why so many voted “leave” in 2016 and why, whatever their views on Brexit, they are cautious about a second referendum.
The Peterborough by-election result did not pan out as Ms Toynbee clearly anticipated. The result vindicates Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit, seeking to unite the country, leave or remain, so that we can get on with the urgent job of fixing the ills dividing us.
I would urge her to reflect on this misjudgement, and on her serial misunderstandings of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Reflect, too, that every time she writes she alienates more ordinary people from the “remain” cause she champions.