John McDonnell has been branded “truly evil” by a Conservative cabinet minister for comments he made about the new work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.
The shadow chancellor once called McVey a “stain on humanity” and quoted an activist who called for her to be “lynched”.
Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative leader of the Commons, said the comments played on the BBC’s Sunday Politics today, were “utterly disgusting”.
This is truly evil. Utterly disgusting. The laughter about launching a campaign against @EstherMcVey1 on her birthday, and then the guffaws about killing her. Seriously? Is this @jeremycorbyn ‘s kinder, gentler politics? This has to stop. https://t.co/aFXf1jjjBU
— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) January 14, 2018
Here is the clip of @johnmcdonnellMP from 2014 repeating comments about ‘lynching’ Tory MP Esther McVey #bbcsppic.twitter.com/92MJTbYLX9
— BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) January 14, 2018
Jeremy Corbyn was asked on ITV’s Peston on Sunday programme whether McDonnell was wrong to use those words.
The Labour leader said: “Well I would rather stick to where I disagree with somebody on their policies, I fundamentally disagree with Esther McVey and her approach towards inequality and the poor, and the worst off within our society and I will stick to that.”
He added: “It’s a basic in the Labour Party, you treat people with respect and treat each other with respect. I don’t do personal abuse of anybody and I don’t expect anybody else to do it towards any of our candidates or anyone else.
McDonnell appeared alongside McVey on Peston on Sunday back in September and 2016. He defended his comments as “honest anger” about welfare cuts being made by the then coalition government.
John McDonnell refuses to apologise to Esther McVey for calling her a “stain of inhumanity” before the last General Election #Pestonpic.twitter.com/h5T9QV5CaM
— Peston on Sunday (@pestononsunday) September 25, 2016
Brandon Lewis MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party, said today that all Tory candidates would be made pledge to fight clean campaigns.
“All our candidates will sign up to that pledge to behave responsibly and show respect online during elections,” he said.
“Given Jeremy Corbyn again refused to condemn the inappropriate comments from his Shadow Chancellor, it is no surprise he has refused to sign up to this respect pledge for future elections. This shows more than ever that the rot is at the top of the Labour Party.”
Corbyn’s spokesman, …