Senior Labour MP Frank Field is the latest MP to wade into the Labour leadership battle, with an extraordinary letter to author J.K. Rowling. And he doesn’t only offer his approval of her public disdain for Jeremy Corbyn. He also proclaims his own opinions on Corbyn’s leadership. Loud and clear.
Rowling is well known for criticising the current Labour leader. On 31 August, she had a public meltdown after a YouGov poll showed Corbyn’s popularity soaring among those who are eligible to vote in the Labour Party leadership election:
One day in the far distant future we'll look back and we WONT LAUGH, LABOUR, BECAUSE THIS ISN'T BLOODY FUNNY.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 31, 2016
Now, in a private letter to Rowling, veteran Labour MP Frank Field praises the author for providing a “blast of reality” on the situation:
You hit the nail on the head, and not for the first time, about Corbyn…
So well done for your blast of reality.
Alongside his praise, Field was quick to share his own stance on the issue. Expressing shock at Corbyn’s recent success, he said:
It is remarkable he has got half a million new members.
He goes on to call Corbyn’s Labour an “execution squad of Labour MPs”, saying:
If he [Corbyn] could spell out how this becomes a social movement, rather than an execution squad of Labour MPs… then we will have a step forward.
The accusation fails to address one important fact. The fact that the majority of these MPs resigned. Of their own accord.
Labour MP Frank Field has written to JK Rowling saying new party members are "an execution squad" for rebel MPs. pic.twitter.com/eHr5zis4cX
— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) September 1, 2016
Field’s call for a social movement is ironic, given his history. Under Tony Blair, Field was responsible for planning the reform of the welfare state. Believing that you should get out what you put in, Field proposed replacing the welfare state with giant mutual insurance schemes.
And as a member of Parliament for Birkenhead, Field has, at times, shown little regard for those he represents. Even suggesting that their views count for nothing:
Field’s letter is revealing. But Rowling’s response could prove even more telling for her fans. During the EU referendum, Rowling expressed a strong pro-EU stance. And given that Fields was an active Leave campaigner, will Rowling stay true to her word? Will she reject this letter in protest against a Brexiteer, or fall for Field’s gushing praise?
– Read more on Rowling’s public meltdown .
– Support The Canary so we can continue to bring you the news that matters.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?