Right-wing MP should "accept his brand of politics is now history" and concentrate fire on the Tories, says colleague
Right-wing Labour MPs were told to “stop proxy wars” on Jeremy Corbyn as they launched a fresh attack on Venezuela solidarity campaigners yesterday.
Labour MP Chris Williamson warned against attacking the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC), saying they should concentrate instead on “exposing the Tories” who are inflicting damage on so many.
The comments came after it was revealed that a member of Diane Abbott’s office staff does some part-time social media and communications work for the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC).
Matt Wilgress has a pass for the House of Commons relating to his work for the shadow home secretary.
Labour MP John Spellar, who sits on a new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Venezuela despite never previously showing an interest in the South American country, said: “People need to decide which side they are on, they should not be with this discredited regime.”
While anti-Corbyn Labour MP Graham Jones said: “I don’t see a problem with Diane giving VSC a pass, but it is not an organisation I would associate myself with.”
VSC was formed in 2005 and has the affiliation of 18 national trade unions, including Unite.
Its aims include supporting the right of the Venezuelan people to determine their own future free from external intervention.
Venezuela has been rocked by a crisis which has seen US-backed right-wing opposition groups organising violent street protests and setting up blockades to try and stop people from voting in recent elections.
Capitalists in the socialist state have co-ordinated a “bosses’ strike” which has seen the witholding of food and medical supplies.
Labour MP Chris Williamson told the Star: “John would be better off spending his time exposing this right-wing Tory government that is inflicting damage on so many rather than these ridiculous stunts as a proxy war against the leadership.
“He has to accept that his brand of politics is now history and we have moved on from New Labour to a more hopeful politics.”
“VSC is an excellent organisation providing the basis for working with trade unions along with community an civic groups in Venezuela to highlight the progress made there.
“It is not an apologist organisation and trying to discredit VSC is not good. It's a good, solid organisation that doesn't deserve to be traduced.”
A spokeswoman for Ms Abbott said: “Matt does nothing from our office that relates to VSC."