Leadership contender Thornberry criticises Corbyn’s advisers

Sienna Rodgers

Labour leadership contender Emily Thornberry has criticised Jeremy Corbyn’s advisers and laid the blame for the general election result partly on those key staff members at the top of the party.

On Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Thornberry said: “I think that Jeremy has been badly let down and badly advised… That has undermined him and drained away – too often – his authenticity, which was so important.”

Appearing on ITV’s Peston on Wednesday evening, the shadow cabinet member similarly argued: “It’s the leaders who decide and the advisers who advise, and there should not be any mixing up of the two.”

Asked by Robert Peston whether she was surprised that Seamus Milne and Karie Murphy were still in their jobs, she said it was “really sad” that junior staff were being made redundant while “senior people within those teams are not under such a threat”.

She added: “It does seem to me that if decisions have been made wrongly, it should be those people who pay the price, and not those who’ve been working night and day in junior positions.”

Melanie Onn, who lost the seat of Great Grimsby last week, told Peston that she had not heard from Jeremy Corbyn after the election and that the Labour leader “did a double take” when they crossed paths in parliament but didn’t speak to her.

Reacting to that anecdote, Thornberry said: “I don’t understand why that happened, Mel… People involved in the leadership should be saying publicly how sorry we are for losing all of these hard-working stars that we’ve had in the parliamentary party.”

As she did in her Guardian piece announcing her leadership bid, Thornberry said again that she had opposed backing a general election in December and argued against the move in the shadow cabinet.

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