DUP: We’ve had no relationship with Labour leadership under Corbyn

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell with party leader Jeremy Corbyn

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell with party leader Jeremy Corbyn

The DUP has “absolutely no relationship” with the Labour leadership under Jeremy Corbyn, a senior DUP MP has said.

Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told the News letter that from his perspective the sooner Labour deposed the leader the better for the country.

He said: “Whilst we have maintained good relations with many people in Labour and worked very closely with Vernon Coaker, it would be fair to say that at leadership level there has been absolutely no relationship with Jeremy Corbyn or John McDonnell.

“I think that is largely because they have had absolutely no sympathy for unionism in the past and been closely allied to Irish republicanism.

“I don’t think that has changed and frankly from our perspective the sooner Labour remove them from the leadership the better for UK politics.”

Sir Jeffrey said that in Parliament at the moment “there isn’t an effective opposition”, despite opposition being central to the UK system of Parliamentary democracy,

Mr Corbyn has insisted that he had mass support within the Labour membership and that he will fight on if a challenger emerges.
Sir Jeffrey said that Labour had been “heavily infiltrated by left wing elements who would be supportive of Jeremy Corbyn and who are not reflective of the broad mass of Labour support across the country”, meaning that “there is a concern at Westminster that he will cling on to the leadership, supported by those left wing elements”.

He added: “If that happens, I think Labour’s electoral position is precarious.”