Tyne & Wear

Anti-Corbyn MPs 'not welcome' at Durham Miners' Gala

Durham Miners' Association general secretary Dave Hopper
Image caption Durham Miners' Association general secretary Dave Hopper said he felt "betrayed"

Labour MPs who have resigned from the shadow cabinet and voted against Jeremy Corbyn have been told they are not welcome on the platform at the Durham Miners' Gala.

Durham Miners' Association general secretary Dave Hopper accused them of treachery towards their party leader.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, who resigned from Labour's front bench on Monday, rents an office in the association's headquarters.

She has been approached for comment.

Labour MPs voted 172-40 to pass a motion of no confidence in Mr Corbyn amid calls on him to quit, but Mr Hopper said the association would not "fete" people who, in his opinion, were "undermining the whole credibility of the Labour Party".

Image copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn - shown here at the 2015 Durham Miners' Gala - is this year's "star speaker"

"We have taken the decision not to allow any supporters of the coup to grace the Durham Miners' platform because, obviously, Corbyn is the star speaker at that event and we don't want any embarrassment," he said.

The MPs in question were "certainly not welcome" at the official association function at The County Hotel but could "come under their own steam and stand in the crowd", he said.

The association would be "having a look at" Ms Blackman-Woods' rental contact and writing to her, he said.

"We will be looking very closely at all our connections with people who, in my opinion, have betrayed the Labour leader," he said.

The long-standing annual gala coal sees mining banners paraded through the city, past a platform at The County Hotel to a rally and speeches at The Racecourse.

Image copyright Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Image caption The 2016 Durham Miners' Gala will be the 132nd

Although Labour leaders had been regular speakers in the past, in 2012 Ed Miliband became the first to address the gala for 23 years.

Mr Corbyn, newly elected, spoke at last year's event and has been invited to attend again in July.

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