Ian Forsyth through Getty Images
Jeremy Corbyn has revealed he had “a series of conversations” with Andy McDonald on Monday, when he introduced his shock resignation from the shadow cabinet.
The former Labour chief threw his help behind McDonald, who has been accused by some within the celebration of trying to undermine Keir Starmer with the timing of his resignation.
But Corbyn – who stated he was “very close friends” with McDonald – known as his resignation “principled” and stated it was not a part of a “deep-laid Machiavellian plot”.
Speaking at a Labour convention fringe occasion, Corbyn stated: “We had a series of private conversations as very close friends.
“They were private conversations. I was there to give Andy support in whatever decision he decided to make.
“Andy worked very closely with us in the shadow cabinet and he took what was for him a personal and very difficult and very principled decision.
“If it had been a deep-laid Machiavellian plot to announce a resignation on a particular afternoon in Brighton, it would’ve leaked out weeks ago.”
McDonald resigned as shadow secretary of state for employment rights and protections on Monday in a row over the minimal wage.
The MP, an ally of Corbyn, stated the chief’s workplace had instructed him to argue towards a nationwide minimal wage of £15 per hour and towards statutory sick pay on the dwelling wage.
“I joined your frontbench team on the basis of the pledges that you made in the leadership campaign to bring about unity within the party and maintain our commitment to socialist policies,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
“After eighteen months of your management, our motion is extra divided than ever and the pledges that you simply made to the membership are usually not being honoured. This is simply the newest of many.
McDonald’s resignation has confirmed to be one other dividing line at what has been a fractious convention for Starmer, who can also be underneath hearth from the left for bringing in rule changes which can be prone to make it more durable for leftwing MPs to get on the management poll.
Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray stated McDonald’s resignation “looks like deliberate sabotage” whereas Luke Akehurst, the director of Labour first and member of the celebration’s ruling nationwide government committee, accused McDonald of “grandstanding”.
Members of the celebration’s leftwing have, nevertheless, rallied behind McDonald.
Former shadow cupboard member Barry Gardiner additionally denied McDonald was a part of a “Machiavellian plot”.
“If this had been some sort of Machiavellian plot, then why do you think Andy would’ve gone back to London?” he stated.
“He was actually going to be speaking here about fire and rehire, which he’s absolutely passionate about.
“He knew that he could get an audience from himself and do that, if that had been something he had wanted to cause disruption by rather than simply a personal decision… then he would’ve been here, he would’ve been grandstanding.
“I really think it is wrong to try and say he was being manipulative, he’s not like that. He’s a really decent, honest, straightforward man.”
Labour members are anticipated to vote on a movement calling for a £15 an hour minimal wage at about 5pm on Tuesday.
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