Offered an opportunity to behave like a statesman and put to bed suggestions that he’s in sympathy with the Kremlin, Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the Skripal poisoning has once again managed to expose deep divisions between himself and his MPs.
Below is a list of those Labour MPs we can find taking a different line to their leader on the Russian issue,
“This is a day for the House to speak as one for the nation. The Prime Minister will be reassured to hear that a clear majority of Labour MPs, alongside the leaders of every other party, support her firm stance.” (Source: Hansard)
“Jeremy has a long and honourable record campaigning against chemical weapons, so is in a good position to show real leadership. His response was undermined, however, by appearing to dodge the question of culpability. That omission was made worse by his press spokesman later.” (Source: The Times)
“So far today I’ve been called a degenerate, a dimwit, an idiot, cretin, poof, shirtlifter, warmonger, fascist, communist, murderer and f****ing tawt (sic). All because I’ve been calling out Putin’s kleptocratic murdering regime.” (Source: The Sun)
“I understand that Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman Seumas Milne has claimed there is no proof that Russia is behind the nerve gas attack in Salisbury. Well Seumas has form on these matters.” (Source: Twitter)
“I’m afraid Seumas doesn’t speak for my Labour or British values.” (Source: Twitter)
“We very much accept what the prime minister said, this is a very sophisticated nerve agent, and that Russia is responsible for this attack.” (Source: Huffington Post)
“Responding with strength and resolve when your country is under threat is an essential component of political leadership. There is a Labour tradition that understands that.” (Source: Hansard)
“As a strong advocate for the defence and security of our country, I am another one who supports the Prime Minister’s statement today.” (Source: Hansard)
“In addition to its breaches of international law, its use of chemical weapons and its continued disregard for the rule of law and human rights, that must be met with unequivocal condemnation. May I welcome the measures she has taken to downgrade the intelligence capability of the Russian state, and particularly the work that I understand has started with the United Nations?” (Source: Hansard)
“As Russia has chosen to act against us in such an outrageous way, we have to demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves.” (Source: Hansard)
There are too many Labour MPs ignoring their leader’s official line on this issue to quote them all. Others include: Ian Austin; Stella Creasy; Chukka Umunna; Stephen Doughty; Stephen Kinnock; Wes Streeting; Ann Coffey; Toby Perkins; Adrian Bailey; Ruth Smeeth; Chris Evans; Jim Fitzpatrick; Neil Coyle; Alison McGovern; Chris Leslie; Liz Kendall; Dame Margaret Hodge; Derek Twigg; Luciana Berger; Madeleine Moon; Phil Wilson; Emma Reynolds; Tony Lloyd; David Hanson; Diana Johnson; and Paul Sweeney.