- Today, Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Manchester Withington, released a statement of his position on Jeremy Corbyn.
- Smith admits Labour and Corbyn have let the Conservatives off the hook 'time and again'
- John Leech comments on Smith's 'utterly extraordinary position.'
- Leech: 'Clear that Smith just using Withington as first grip on Labour's greasy career pole.'
Today, Jeff Smith, the Labour MP for Manchester Withington, released a statement outlining his position on the party's leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Smith admits that his party has "let the Conservatives off the hook time and again."
Jeff Smith is one of the Labour Party whips despite being elected in the most recent general election a little over a year ago. Until today he had kept his opinions of the leader to himself, but now admits 'if asked if he had confidence in the leader, his honest answer would be no'.
John Leech, the former MP for Manchester Withington, said: "I find it utterly extraordinary that Jeff Smith and the Labour party spent months ridiculously trying to label me as a Tory, despite the fact that I was one of two MPs who didn't vote to go in to coalition, and subsequently made my opposition to the Conservatives very clear, and yet Jeff Smith has played a leading role in the least effective opposition this country has seen for generations.
"Just one year in office and Jeff Smith has let Manchester down on numerous occasions; he failed to oppose the Conservative welfare budget that hit thousands of residents in south Manchester, and their ambiguous position on the EU was detrimental to the referendum."
John Leech was first elected as councillor in 1998, before winning the Withington Parliamentary seat in 2005. with the biggest swing in the country. He retained his seat for 10 years, and was elected this year as the sole opposition member on Manchester Council.
Cllr. John Leech added: "Jeff Smith and Labour fought a campaign against me in the 2015 general election pledging to keep the Conservatives out of power, stand up for south Manchester residents and provide an effective opposition. He has failed on every account.
"Jeff Smith says he has lost confidence in Corbyn yet he continues to cling on to his position in the cabinet. He says he has supported the leader since being elected yet his social media is covered in scathing comments and he has been completely inconsistent in support or opposition of Corbyn.
"It is becoming clear that Smith was just using Manchester Withington as a first grip on Labour's greasy career pole.
"Manchester Withington deserves better."
- John Leech was elected in the 2016 Manchester local elections with 53% of the vote and a majority of 702, overturning an 810 Labour majority.
- John Leech was elected to represent Didsbury West ward.
- John Leech was the MP for Manchester Withington from 2005 – 2015.
- Jeff Smith was elected MP for Manchester Withington in 2015.