Labor campaign leaders feared Jeremy Corbyn himself was sabotaging the party's 2019 general election campaign, a new book says.
It also shows that top advisors knew that months before the 2019 elections the party was headed for an electoral disaster, but couldn't stop it.
In Left Out: The Inside Story of Labor under Corbyn, written by two front-row journalists for Labor's disastrous attempt to come to power, are stunning new details of the party's biggest defeat in the general election since 1935 known.
Former aides have revealed uninterrupted battles between top strategists, Jeremy Corbyn's anger at losing control of his diary, and his own wife's snipers on screen.
Labor campaign leaders feared Jeremy Corbyn himself was sabotaging the party's 2019 general election campaign, a new book says
The book, serialized in the Sunday Times, describes how during a September 2019 election meeting that Corbyn was absent from, the party's data chief Tim Waters said the poll indicated the party would be crushed to just 138 MPs .
However, in a damn revelation, the adviser found that those in attendance, including party chairman Ian Lavery and John Donnell's wife, Cynthia, rejected the warning that the party would lose votes to the Conservatives.
"People in the north just won't vote for Tory," said Lavery, MP for Wansbeck. "It just won't happen!"
Waters' advice would be followed on Nov. 27 when The Times released YouGov's first seat forecast, which led The Conservatives to win 359 seats and Labor just 211.
In just two weeks, changes, including a proposal to introduce a new campaign slogan, "We're on your side", would be pointless. The Conservatives won with 365 seats on Labour's 202.
Former aides have revealed uninterrupted battles between top strategists, Jeremy Corbyn's anger at losing control of his diary, and his own wife's snipers on screen. Pictured: Corbyn with his office manager Karie Murphy
Weakness in Brexit
Waters' polls indicated that voters did not trust Labor on Brexit, at the time a position of a second referendum on a Labor deal that some MPs might fight.
This convinced McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, of it The Labor Party had to win back the EU pro-voters.
The party would therefore fail to discuss the details of Brexit and "extol the virtues of giving voters the last word through a second referendum".
Several figures, including Corbyn's chief strategist Seumas Milne, had spoken out against this strategy, saying that it would alienate the working class in favor of Boris Johnson's "Get Brexit Done".
The book suggests that those who shared Milne's point of view were overwhelmed by Brexit, which would become a focal point of the campaign.
The book reveals that top figures, including John McDonnell, who knew the party was headed for an electoral disaster months before voters started voting in 2019, couldn't stop it
Fights between advisors
As planning for the campaign began, McDonnell had interviews with Karie Murphy, the executive director of Corbyn's office, who sometimes stepped in.
However, Murphy was careful about being held accountable for decisions she couldn't make, and kept reminding people in the room where she wasn't responsible.
Seamus Milne, Corbyn's chief advisor, who was a key figure in deciding on the 2017 campaign, had also retired from the role of decision maker.
The lack of guidance was fraught with disputes between advisors.
Policy advisor Andrew Fisher would refuse to share the draft manifesto with Milne – or anyone he viewed as a member of the Milne / Murphy Brexit Axis, in an attempt to stop its influence.
In return, Murphy was closely guarding Corbyn's diary grids, and Niall Sookoo, Labor's election officer, refused to share his list of key seats with Milne or Murphy.
Seamus Milne, Corbyn's chief advisor, who was a key figure in deciding on the 2017 campaign, had also retired from the role of decision maker
After four years as Labor leader, a defeat in the Brexit referendum and a dizzying anti-Semitism battle, Corbyn's energy was exhausted on the way to the elections.
The 2019 poll also made him the least popular Labor leader in 45 years.
Paul Hilder, a campaign data advisor, warned – as did the Labor MPs after their weekly operations – that the leader had become liable.
He recommended that the party deploy a wider team of spokesmen to neutralize the damage a campaign based only on Corbyn would do.
But with a reduced diary and control, Corbyn proved irritable.
In another example in the book, Corbyn threw what one aide called a "tantrum" when he learned that his campaign bus was powered by a diesel engine – the kind his own manifesto promised to ban by 2030
In one case, McDonnell suggested that Corbyn stage Boris Johnson by visiting parts of Yorkshire and the flood-affected Midlands to highlight the coalition-monitored flood control cuts.
But Corbyn refused to leave, citing the fact that he had not been kept up to date after his office manager Murphy took control of his diary and only fed parts to it at a time.
The Labor leader became increasingly frustrated as decisions were taken out of his hands. In another example in the book, Corbyn threw what one aide called a "tantrum" when he learned that his campaign bus was powered by a diesel engine – the kind his own manifesto promised to ban by 2030.
In protest, he refused to use the battle bus and opted for trains and public transport. This drew trouble from his team as they struggled to reach him with constant poor phone coverage while they were traveling across the country.