John McDonnell denies considering resigning over anti-Semitism row as he guns for Corbyn’s ‘bungling’ aides as his relationship with longtime Labour ally plunges into ‘deep freeze’ Shadow Chancellor denied he contemplated resigning over anti-Semitism row Mr McDonnell’s allies say relations have plunged into ‘deep freeze’ with Corbyn Sources say he is ‘gunning’ for chief of staff Karie Murphy over affairs handling.
Labour is struggling to repair a damaging rift between Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell over the anti-Semitism row rocking the party. The Shadow Chancellor was last night forced to deny he had contemplated resigning over the way Mr Corbyn’s office had bungled the affair. But allies of Mr McDonnell said he is so angry with key Mr Corbyn’s aides – including chief of staff Karie Murphy – that relations between Labour’s two most powerful figures have been plunged into ‘the deep freeze’. Mr McDonnell has spoken of how he has been ‘cut to the core’ by the wave of anti-Semitism allegations against the party and has vowed to ‘get this sorted’. Labour is struggling to repair a damaging rift between Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell over the anti-Semitism row rocking the party But insiders say the Shadow Chancellor, seen as crucial to Mr Corbyn’s hopes of becoming Prime Minister, is appalled at how the problem has been dealt with by the leader’s top team. One said: ‘John can’t believe how this has been handled, at how we’re shooting ourselves in the foot just as the Tories tear themselves apart over Europe.
He is a pragmatist. He can smell power and get Labour back into government, and he doesn’t want self-inflicted mistakes to wreck that.’ Mr Corbyn’s office has already had to deny that it engineered the now-abandoned official complaints against Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge for branding Mr Corbyn anti-Semitic. However, sources say Mr McDonnell is ‘gunning’ for Ms Murphy over how the entire affair has been handled. One said: ‘John is vital to the whole Corbyn project and any hopes of getting into government. ‘Forget Tom Watson – McDonnell is effectively the deputy party leader and the deputy prime minister in waiting. ‘But Corbyn’s office just doesn’t treat him like that. They don’t treat him with respect.’ Labour MPs say it is significant that Mr McDonnell has reportedly formed an alliance with Momentum founder Jon Lansman over the need to resolve the anti-Semitism row, although aides played down talk of a rift. Last night, the Shadow Chancellor himself insisted it was ‘rubbish’ to suggest he had considered resigning in the past few weeks. Mr McDonnell said: ‘I have never expressed any such views or had such thoughts.’ The Shadow Chancellor was last night forced to deny he had contemplated resigning over the way Mr Corbyn’s office had bungled the affair.