Angela Smith, the most senior member of the U.K. opposition Labour Party in the House of Lords, rebuked party figures who have gone after new leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In a speech Monday night during the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress in Brighton on England’s south coast, Smith said Labour’s lawmakers should focus their energies on attacking David Cameron’s Conservative Party.
Since winning the Labour leadership with an overwhelming vote on Saturday, Corbyn has seen a series of the party’s former spokespeople refuse to serve under him, citing his views on the economy, foreign affairs and defense. Smith gave her backing to Corbyn and his deputy, Tom Watson.
“They both have my full and unquestioned support, and bluntly, I’m critical of those who have so publicly and quickly failed to support our leadership team,” Smith said.
Both Corbyn and Watson, one of whom would usually have addressed the TUC dinner, will be in the House of Commons in London, voting against a government bill to restrict the ability of the unions, Labour’s traditional backers, to organize politically and call strikes.
Smith said Labour’s best chance of altering the proposed law is in the Lords, where the Conservatives don’t have a majority.