A fringe event organised by the party’s youth wing, Young Labour, was wrongly listed as cancelled on Labour’s annual conference app just hours before it was due to take place. The leadership was accused of deliberately attempting to suppress turnout at the popular event at which a number of vocal critics of Sir Keir Starmer were due to speak.
As well as Mr Corbyn, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, and radical left-wing MPs Richard Burgon and Zarah Sultana were billed to address the fringe rally.
The Labour Party said the event was listed as being cancelled “in error”, but supporters of the group have accused the leader of trying to silence his critics.
Addressing the fringe meeting last night, high profile left-wing politicians lined up to attack Labour’s leadership for focusing too much on attacking its own members.
Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome told Sir Keir Starmer to “get on board or get out of the way” after failing to cooperate with Young Labour’s organisers in planning conference meetings.
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She added the youth members of the party are “not just foot soldiers” and were “showing the so-called grown-ups how it’s done”.
The MP said the leadership’s support for Young Labour “should not be conditional on toeing the line”.
Richard Burgon echoed the remarks as he praised Young Labour for standing firm and getting the event to take place.
He told those in attendance: “Congratulations to Young Labour for standing firm, congratulations to Young Labour for resisting that nonsense and congratulations to Young Labour for putting on this fantastic programme today.
“Young people in this party and outside of this party should not be taken for granted by this Labour leadership.”
Young Labour’s chair, Jessica Barnard, told activists the youth wing was “unapologetically socialist” and would continue to fight for radical left-wing policies even if it meant clashing with the leadership.
She said: “It’s no secret that young Labour is proudly socialist. Some people don’t like that, but we are.
“We were elected on an unapologetically socialist platform.
“Something we will never shy away from and you can count on us to be flying the red flag here forever.”
The friction over last night’s event is the latest in a series of flashpoints between Young Labour and the party.
Labour was forced to issue an apology to Ms Barnard earlier this month after it launched an internal investigation against the youth chair.
Ms Barnard received a letter telling her she was being investigated for “hostile or prejudiced” behaviour.
The disciplinary related to two tweets from last year, when she defended trans-gender rights.
A Labour spokesperson said at the time: “We apologise unreservedly to Jess for the hurt and upset this has caused.”
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