Jeremy Corbyn today branded Keir Starmer “weak” – after he was blamed by some in the party for disappointing election results.
The former Labour leader, who is currently suspended from the party, told ITV it was “a bit rich” for the current Labour leadership “to dump” on him responsibility for the party’s poor electoral performance.
It came as Tony Blair launched a stinging attack on the “woke left” warning that Labour needs “nothing less” than a total reconstruction to survive.
The three-election winning ex-Labour PM admitted that Keir Starmer was “struggling to break through with the public” and needed a more compelling economic message to win back support.
Following bruising defeats in English elections last week, Mr Blair said Labour had to present itself as a “centre-ground, moderate, forward-thinking party” or be condemned to certain defeat.
In a devastating verdict on the state of his party, he claimed Labour needs a “total deconstruction and reconstruction. Nothing less will do”.
Writing in the New Statesman, he added: “Keir seems sensible but not radical. He lacks a compelling economic message.
“And the cultural message, because he is not clarifying it, is being defined by the ‘woke’ left, whose every statement gets cut-through courtesy of the right.”
But he warned those threatening to oust Mr Starmer that the party “won’t revive simply by a change of leader”.
Mr Corbyn, who led the party to the worst general election defeat since 1935, said he took “no responsibility ” for the local or by-election result.
Instead, he blamed Mr Starmer for “bizarre” election messaging and for agreeing with the government too much during the pandemic.
Left-wing MPs in the Socialist Campaign Group will bring Mr Starmer’s leadership under more scrutiny a rally tonight.