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Labour MPs Are Blocking One Another On Twitter

That Corbynite vs centrist split within the party is going well.

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The dispute between the Labour's various factions took a strange turn on the internet as one of the party's centrist MPs apparently blocked several pro-Corbyn MPs on Twitter.

Richard Burgon, the pro-Corbyn shadow Treasury minister, tweeted a screenshot at 3am on Wednesday morning showing he had been blocked from viewing the Twitter account of Middlesbrough MP Tom Blenkinsop.

Burgon deleted the post a few minutes later and told BuzzFeed News that it had been a mistake to post it publicly: "I didn't mean to tweet that out. I'd taken a screenshot since it seemed very odd."

However, it appears that this is not an isolated case: Blenkinsop, who nominated Liz Kendall for the leadership, has long been a critic of Corbyn and he appears to have blocked many Labour MPs who strongly support the leader.

Twitter

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, who nominated Corbyn for the party leadership, said he had also been blocked on Twitter by Blenkinsop.

"It’s only when someone mentioned to me that they’d been blocked that I found out," said Lewis. "Everyone is entitled to do what they want but I just think I’m just a bit saddened. I’m not offended – he’s got every right to do what he’s done."

Lewis said several other pro-Corbyn MPs had also noticed they had been blocked from even looking at Blenkinsop's account and suggested it was connected to the bad feeling between the different wings of the party: "I think it shows there’s a lot of work to do in the PLP [parliamentary Labour party] for us to build relationships with one another. It’s for other people to decide whether it’s petty or not. I’m sure he tweets on things that I tweet about: Marine Le Pen, inequality, injustice. There’s probably so much more in common than we’d ever disagree with.”

It seems Blenkinsop no longer wants to risk seeing any tweets from some fellow MPs, in what appears to be a strange Twitter extension of the proxy war between the pro- and anti-Corbyn factions of the parliamentary Labour party.

In short, internal Labour politics has collided with social media etiquette and it's all a bit weird.

Blenkinsop did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication. We'd recommend using the "mute" button in future.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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