Corbynites within the Labour Party are reportedly in favour of John McDonnell leading the party should Keir Starmer be forced out in the near future.
Senior Labour MPs have stressed their preference for the former Shadow Chancellor to take the reins if a leadership contest materialises, reports the Mail on Sunday.
Murmurs of discontent have been bubbling within the Labour ranks after opinion polls showed little progress for the party under Starmer’s leadership following a somewhat turbulent year for Boris Johnson’s government.
With local elections expected to go ahead as planned on May 6, there is speculation within the red corner that poor results could lead to calls for Sir Keir to step aside.
A former shadow minister told the Sunday newspaper that Starmer had “missed his chance to take lumps out of Boris and his serial incompetence” now that the government’s vaccination roll-out was proving such a success.
And whilst not advocating a mutiny against the Labour leader, the newspaper’s source confirmed the left’s preferential candidate to replace him should he resign.
“This is not a coup against Keir. We suspect the Right wing will move first against him – not us.
“But if he is forced out, we want John as our candidate as by far the most experienced and representative of the party’s members.
“[Starmer] promised us Corbynism without Corbyn but he’s giving us Blairism without Blair”, the source added.
The Labour leader has come under fire this week following a string of gaffes, in which he was forced to backtrack and accept that he had advocated Britain remaining a part of the EU’s medicine regulator, a move which would have held back Britain’s vaccination procurement and roll-out.
Derision from the government over his previous support for membership of the European Medicines Agency prompted some alleged handbags in the lobby after PMQs on Wednesday.
Video footage also emerged last week of Starmer previously supporting the abolition of the monarchy.
To suggest John McDonnell is the answer to Labour’s problems might be a stretch…