Furious Beth Miller storms out of Corby Labour Party meeting over ‘disrespectful’ speech

Ms Miller has since been backed by senior local Labour figures

By Kate Cronin
Saturday, 1st February 2020, 7:21 pm
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 7:22 pm
Beth Miller was defeated at the 2019 general election
Beth Miller was defeated at the 2019 general election

The former Corby and East Northants Parliamentary election candidate Beth Miller marched out of a tense constituency Labour Party meeting last night (Friday, January 31) after listening to a speech she says was ‘disrespectful’.

Mirroring many CLPs across the country, discussions about the future of the party became heated because some members believe the party should take a more moderate stance in future, while others believe that the party should retain its Corbyn-style left wing politics.

At the strained meeting, attended by about 40 party members, a participant reportedly gave a ten-minute speech backing Jeremy Corbyn, saying the leader had done the party ‘a favour.’

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Corbyn suffered a crushing defeat in December’s election, losing 60 seats.

Ms Miller, who lost the Corby seat by 10,000 votes to incumbent MP Tom Pursglove is backing Lisa Nandy for leader.

She walked out during the speech she later said was ‘deeply offensive’.

Following the meeting, speaking on social media, she said: “Walked out of my first CLP in almost 10 years of membership. Final straw was someone, who I respected for all his campaigning efforts, claiming Jeremy Corbyn 'did us a favour' and it was therefore a 'success'.

“We lost a quarter of our MPs. I said so and left. We need to wake up.”

Her tweet has so far been ‘liked’ by 1,368 people including the leader of Corby Council Tom Beattie, CLP secretary Ross Armour and Cllr Matt Reay.

Cllr Reay said on the site: “I was at this meeting tonight. My hardest as a Labour member.

”People need us and yet tonight people in Corby CLP still tried to tell us that our crushing defeat was because of the media, MPs et al. Absolutely everything except Corbyn. #deluded.”

The row spilled over on to Twitter during the night and into today, when Ms Miller added: “Also, how disrespectful to try to pretend that's a success. Not to mention how awful the result is for the very ppl labour want to stand up for. Homelessness. The working class on zero hr contracts with rising rents. Kids growing up in poverty etc.”

Many of Ms Miller’s supporters backed her while others on social media believed she should not have walked out of the meeting. But she later said she felt she had ‘no choice’ because the speech was ‘laden with passive aggressive comments’ directed at her.

She said the speech maker, who we are not naming here, had referred to an elderly Labour party member of 50 years as 'spouting Daily Mail diatribe' for pointing out the election wasn't a success.

Ms Miller added that during campaigning for the recent election, he ‘came out day in, day out despite having a terribly ill wife.’

The speech maker, who we are not naming here, replied to Ms Miller’s comments and said: “(It) was my honest assessment that the wreckers within the party played a large part in Johnson's victory.”

The final four candidates to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party are Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy, a Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry. They must win the support of five per cent of constituency labour parties or at least three affiliates.

Corby CLP will formally decide who to back on a meeting on February 9.

All Labour members will thenbe balloted with the vote closing on April 2 and a new leader will be announced on April 4.