It all kicked off on the Daily Politics between Alan Johnson and Left Unity

Louis Dor
Tuesday 24 November 2015 17:20
Celebrities

The BBC's Daily Politics show heated up today when an argument between Labour veteran Alan Johnson and Left Unity spokesman Simon Hardy escalated.

Hardy announced that Left Unity would no longer be standing in elections, instead supporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He argued that Labour's rise in membership was attributable to Corbyn's left-wing policies and the party should move further to the left, an assessment that Johnson fiercely contested.

As Hardy argued his point, Johnson was irritated by his suggestion that a more left-wing Labour would be more electable, calling Hardy "a middle class intellectual" who "despises the Labour Party" as he spoke.

Hardy sarcastically replied:

I know that you're a bit bitter because your candidate didn't win the election, but you need to let me speak because you're being a bit rude.

The point is that Jeremy Corbyn is a mainstream politician who is against austerity, against racism, against nuclear weapons-

Johnson interjected:

Well we're all against that.

Hardy continued:

And a lot of people are responding to that message and that's why thousands of people are joining the Labour Party now, they're not joining because of Liz Kendall or Yvette Cooper, they're joining because of Jeremy Corbyn.

If people like you were to get behind Jeremy and the kind of politics he represents, the Labour Party might have a fighting chance on a national and local level of being able to change this country for the better. That's not rubbish, that's common sense.

Johnson replied:

I’ve been with Jeremy all the time as a Labour member of Parliament, he never went off on one of these flights of fancy. I've been with Jeremy when we introduced the minimum wage, when we introduced the education maintenance allowance, when we introduced Sure Start children’s centres, when we reduced child poverty, when we attacked pensioner poverty, when we gave trade unionists the right to be represented, the right not to be sacked for going on strike. You’ve done none of that.

All you’ve done is print out your leaflets despising the Labour Party and suggest that over here there’s a plausible alternative. Now you've found that that doesn't work, so you now want to come into the Labour Party. And you won't be welcome.

Hardy has since tweeted about the argument on the show:

Watch the full video, below:

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