News: Hundreds march for Corbyn in Bristol

Louis Emanuel, June 28, 2016

Hundreds of pro-Corbyn demonstrators brought the city centre to a halt at an impromptu protest in the wake of a vote of no confidence in the Labour leader backed by all three Bristol MPs.

The protest began at the fountains as a separate pro-EU rally was taking place on College Green, coming as Bristol24/7 revealed the rise in hate crimes in the city in the wake of the Brexit vote on Friday.

Around 2,000 people attended an EU rally on College Green, while there were reports of 250 at the pro-Corbyn rally – photo by Paul Hassan

The pro-Corbyn march came after MPs Kerry McCarthy, Karin Smyth and Thangam Debbonaire joined a large-scale revolt to topple their leader by resigning from their posts and backing a vote of no confidence.

Protesters marched in front of traffic calling for Corbyn to stay, chanting: “Tories out, Corbyn in” and “Jez we can”.

While the protests were ongoing, McCarthy, Bristol East MP who resigned from her position as Shadow Environment Secretary on Sunday, broke her silence with a scathing attack on Corbyn in an email, obtained by Bristol24/7, to Labour Party members in her constituency.

She said she felt Corbyn could have done more to help win the referendum and claimed he does not understand voters’ concerns about immigration, and nor does he wish to engage with those voters.

“He only wants to speak to those who share his political views. And that is not enough for someone who aspires to be Prime Minister of this country,” she said.

She said she had received messages of support since resigning, but also “abusive” and “threatening” messages too.

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Read Kerry McCarthy’s full email here

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She added: “I accept that Jeremy has a mandate, and that is why I agreed to serve in his shadow cabinet in the first place.

“But I also have a duty to my own conscience and to my constituents, who have so much to lose if Labour cannot find a route back to political office.”

Bristol Post reporter Tristan Cork said protesters on Tuesday night were calling for unions to cut finding to the three Labour MPs in Bristol.

An online petition has already been started for a vote of no confidence in Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire after she followed the revolt by turning her back on Corbyn.

A separate petition has also been launched calling for Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, who spoke at the pro-EU rally, to declare the city and independent state.

Top picture from Robin Markwell, credit: BBC

 

Read more: Revealed: Bristol’s Brexit hate crimes

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