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Corbyn ‘took advantage of Manchester terror attack vigil to GAIN VOTES | Politics | News

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Labour officials revealed Mr Corbyn’s aides, Seamas Milne and Karie Murphy, wanted the Labour leader to pose for photos with party candidates at a memorial service for the victims of the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert in May.

Jeremy Corbyn also reportedly had to be told he could not wave at the crowds or agree to selfies at the vigil for the 22 people killed and dozens injured.

His office demanded Ian Lavery, one of Labour’s campaign directors whose seat is about 150miles away from Manchester in Wansteck, northeast England, appeared with Corbyn on the main stage of the event.

Mr Corbyn was meant to visit Manchester Arena, where the atrocity happened, but his trip was abandoned only after police insisted it was a live crime scene and his visit would disrupt their counter-terror investigation.

A source revealed: “From quite early on, their concern was how can they get Jeremy involved in it, which just wasn’t anyone else’s concern at that moment. 

“They were just making endless phone calls to anybody and everybody.”

Local politicians were desperately trying to reunite families and help identify the dead but were hounded with multiple calls from Mr Corbyn’s office trying to gain him a prominent role in the commemorations.

Andy Burnham, the newly elected Manchester mayor, and Sir Richard Leese, Labour leader of the city council, were among those “badgered”.

A source, said: “There were quite a few things where we had to say: ‘No, that’s not going to happen’. 

“There were so many bad ideas mooted, one of which was that Jeremy would do a clip with all the Labour candidates standing behind him.”

Party officials in Manchester had no idea why Mr Lavery was there, instead of helping run Labour’s nation-wide campaign.

One official, said: “I don’t know why Ian Lavery was with him.=

“He was the campaign co-ordinator. It would be like Theresa May arriving with Lynton Crosby.”

Eventually Mr Lavery broke down in tears as he described children’s bodies at the scene, and it was allegedly only then Mr Corbyn’s aides got the message.

A source, told the Mail: “In that meeting Richard was crying, not because of their ridiculous behaviour, but because he was so upset telling them what had happened — about the dismembered children’s bodies and about how difficult a task it was going to be trying to identify everybody.”

The incident has been described in a book about the election, ‘Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem’, being published in November and seen by the Sunday Times.

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn, said: “Jeremy wanted to thank the emergency services. Lavery went to Manchester because he was a member of the shadow cabinet, not because of his campaign role.”

He added: “The event was attended by other politicians including Amber Rudd, Tim Farron and John Bercow.” 


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