An ally of Jeremy Corbyn has attempted to link the failed coup in Turkey to Labour MPs’ efforts to oust the party leader.
Labour’s election co-ordinator Jon Trickett, the MP for Hemsworth, was forced to apologise and withdraw a tweet in which he wrote: “Coup organised by a small group against elected leader fails because of lack of rank and file support.”
The vast majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) is engaged in a battle to replace Mr Corbyn after most of his shadow cabinet resigned and 172 MPs backed a no confidence motion in the party leader following the EU referendum.
But with Mr Corbyn securing a place in the new leadership contest without needing to gain MPs’ nominations, his support among rank and file party members could see him remain in position.
After Labour MPs criticised Mr Trickett’s post, he said: “Okay okay. Tweet deleted and withdrawn. Shouldn’t tweet when feeling (ill). I apologise sincerely”.
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle tweeted: “deeply insensitive. Death toll in Turkey is about 90 with over 1,000 injured according to BBC. My constituents affected.”
Whip Conor McGinn said: “Have some sense of decency Jon. Dozens were killed overnight in Turkey. Not something to joke or point-score about.”
Former shadow cabinet member Michael Dugher tweeted: “As death toll rises to 90, I’m sure @jon_trickett will reflect & realise this comparison is not clever & not funny.”