Labour MP Clive Lewis could barely contain his anger after discovering Jeremy Corbyn’s chief press officer, Seumas Milne, edited his speech on defence policy just moments before he took to the stage.
Lewis, a supporter of Corbyn, was set to say Labour “would not seek to change” its support for the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent system, in a fringe event at the party’s conference in Liverpool.
However, literally seconds before taking to the stage on Monday afternoon, the Shadow Defence Secretary’s script was edited by Milne, who cut the above line from the script altogether, according to Politics Home.
ITV’s Chris Ship posted footage on Twitter which allegedly shows the moment Lewis found out about the last-minute edit. He is visibly furious. Watch the footage for yourself.
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 26, 2016
Lewis is one of the few Labour MPs who stuck by Corbyn during the Labour leader’s turbulent summer, which makes this humiliating episode even more worrying. A source close to the party said the MP was so angry when he left the stage that he”punched a wall.”
“Clive punched a wall when he came off the stage because Seumas altered his speech on the autocue,” they said.
“He was fuming as he sent a post-it note on stage as he was sat there ready to speak and didn’t know what the exact change was. Apparently Clive had agreed it with Jeremy but Seumas changed it.”
Politics Home says that Lewis and Corbyn had both agreed on the wording of the speech. Milne, however, somehow over-ruled the pair and informed Lewis by a post-note as the MP for Norwich South was seated on stage waiting to talk.
A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: “All speeches are put together in conjunction with the leader’s office. It was confirmed to Clive that the agreed speech had been amended on the autocue.”
Lewis is one of the Labour’s most promising talents and has been tipped to lead the party in the decades to come.
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