Thursday 22 March 2018

Tycoon offers to finance new breakaway party from Labour

Dr Assem Allam, Chairman of Hull City. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Dr Assem Allam, Chairman of Hull City. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Ben Riley-Smith

One of the biggest donors to the Labour Party in Britain has offered rebels millions of pounds to defect and create a new movement over fears that the party can never recover from Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Businessman Dr Assem Allam, who has given more than £500,000 to the party, said it had now become a "joke" under Mr Corbyn and could no longer provide "strong opposition".

The owner of Hull City Football Club said he was ready to fund a 'Gang of Four'-style defection, a reference to when senior Labour figures quit the party to create the Social Democratic Party in 1981.

"I will offer financial help to get things on the right track - anything other than a joke opposition," said Mr Allam.

"Remember how we started the Lib Dems? The Gang of Four? If there any defections similar to this and they need financial help, I will do my best. We need to have a strong opposition."

Len McCluskey, the influential general secretary of the Unite trade union, held private talks yesterday with Mr Corbyn and separately with the party's deputy leader Tom Watson in an attempt to broker a peace deal within the party.

However, there was little sign of Mr Corbyn shifting his position as John McDonnell, his closest political ally and shadow chancellor, told a rally for striking teachers outside Parliament that the Labour leader "will not resign". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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