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Spitting Image impersonator and comedian Matt Forde has come under fire for being “glad” supporters of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have left the party under Keir Starmer.

The funny man made the inflammatory remarks on Thursday’s edition of the BBC’s Politics Live programme, as discussion continued over party unity within Labour and the Conservatives following party conference season.

In a contribution which has since been shared widely online, Forde said: “The Labour Party, under the guidance of that wing of the party, had its worst defeat in 2019 since the 1930s. 200,000 members may have left, but the Labour Party’s now 30 per cent ahead in the polls.

“There’s a clear correlation between how the country feels about the party, and how elements of the Labour Party - frankly, that should never have been allowed in – feel about itself.”

He went on to claim former Labour prime minister Clement Atlee and NHS founder Nye Bevan would “turn in their graves” if they saw what ex-party leader Jeremy Corbyn “did to the party”.

Forde continued: “The way [Corbyn] treated Jewish people is a disgrace, so I’m glad those people have left, because finally, the country has the chance to vote for a party that isn’t getting investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission [and] isn’t spreading hatred towards minorities in this country.

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The comedian’s comments were challenged by socialist Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who said it wasn’t fair to say “everybody that’s left [the party] has been for that reason”.

“There are a lot of people who were of that particular tradition who were there when Blair was in power, who were there when Brown was in power. They now feel that they have to leave, and I feel that that’s wrong.

“I think we should maintain that broad church,” she said.

Twitter users have also expressed concern over Forde’s remarks:

It isn’t the first time that Forde has sparked a backlash on social media, after he blasted a parent for bringing a baby to his Edinburgh Fringe show who “derailed large parts” of his show back in August.

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