"Totally f***ing insane" says Exeter MP
As Labour activists landed in Brighton for a week of shooting themselves in the foot, Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has lambasted the decision by leading members of Momentum, the Jeremy Corbyn sect, for an attempted ambush on the party's deputy leader, Tom Watson.
Mr Bradshaw, a former cabinet minister in Gordon Brown's government, says the "purge on Tom Watson for reflecting Labour members and voters view on Brexit" is "totally f**king insane" and that it will "tear our party apart." On Friday night, some members of Labour's ruling national executive committee plotted to abolish the elected role of deputy leader, which Mr Watson described as akin to a sectarian drive-by shooting.
Mr Bradshaw is unapologetic for his Twitter outburst, saying it's the first time he's sworn on the social media platform, where he has 63,000 followers.
He is also known to be highly critical of his party's decision to force MPs to fight 'trigger ballots' in their constituencies, which could unseat moderate MPs. Although that's a possibility in Exeter, it's thought that extreme left-wing Labour members, some of whom joined after Mr Corbyn became Labour leader, have insufficient sway to force out Mr Bradshaw, who took the seat from the Conservatives in 1997.
He increased his majority to 16,000 in the last general election, and with the Tories also in disarray - with no candidate in place for any forthcoming ballot - his seat is relatively secure should he stand again.
Mr Bradshaw is a determined Remainer, who is critical of the Labour leadership's equivocal stand on Brexit. Although he's the leader of a major political party, Jeremy Corbyn says he'll be neutral on the issue as the country moves towards a general election. But on Twitter Mr Bradshaw has retweeted a post saying "We're fighting to be a party committed to Remain and we're fighting to win."