Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the Prime Minister’s decision to wait until after the local elections to sack Charles Clarke and has predicted that the Education Bill would be “emasculated” as more Labour MPs turned out to vote against key elements of it in the Commons in the forthcoming weeks.
In an interview for the GMTV Sunday Programme, Mr Corbyn said:
“I can’t really understand why he waited until Friday for the reshuffle because if he was going to get rid of Charles Clarke why didn’t he do it before the election in order to at least show he was going to do something about it, but he waited until after the election and I think many of the Labour activists that vainly spent the week trying to get people to vote Labour were pretty angry that he waited until Friday to do it. Mr Corbyn went on: "I think the fate of the education bill will be a very interesting one because I think the education bill will be probably fail all together. In any meaningful sense I think it will fail to get through in the form that it was originally wanted because Blair got I t through by appealing for Tory support against Labour MP’s, fifty voted against it on second reading, I suspect a much larger number are going to vote against various parts of it when it comes to the House for detailed consideration later this month. It will be emasculated.
Mr Corbyn said that if Tony Blair remained as leader, the party would continue to lose support and council seats: “He can carry on until then and the party can get more and more damaged as a result; we lost two hundred councillors last week, how many more do we lose next year? What happens in the assembly elections next year and the Scottish Parliamentary election? You can’t go on denuding the core base of the party, losing councillors who are a key part of any political operation and losing party members. I think a survey of the number of people who were actually working for Labour in last Thursday’s election will show, compared to any previous elections, probably the smallest number ever – that is a bad sign.”