'I can no longer follow the clown that leads us': Local Labour chief QUITS and cancels his membership as he accuses Jeremy Corbyn of turning the party into a 'laughing stock'
- John Thomas was the chairman of the Leicester East constituency Labour party
- He resigned because he said he could no longer follow 'clown' Jeremy Corbyn
- Mr Thomas claimed Mr Corbyn had turned Labour Party into a 'laughing stock'
John Thomas was the chairman of the Leicester East constituency Labour party
Jeremy Corbyn today suffered a fresh blow to his election campaign after the chairman of a constituency Labour party quit and labelled the leader a 'clown'.
John Thomas, the chairman of the Leicester East CLP, tore up his Labour membership and quit his senior local role as he claimed Mr Corbyn had turned the party into a 'laughing stock'.
Mr Thomas said Labour was no longer the party he had joined as he likened Mr Corbyn's leadership style to that of someone performing the hokey cokey dance.
He also launched a savage attack on the way in which the party had selected a new general election candidate after the incumbent, the disgraced former Labour MP Keith Vaz, said he would not stand again.
Mr Thomas described the selection process as a 'fix' and a 'disgrace' after a London ally of Mr Corbyn was chosen as Labour's candidate in the constituency.
Mr Thomas, who serves as a councillor in Leicester, set out his position in a letter to Labour general secretary Jennie Formby.
John Thomas labelled Jeremy Corbyn a 'clown' as he set out his reasons for cancelling his Labour Party membership
The letter sent by Mr Thomas represents a fresh blow to Mr Corbyn's election hopes. The Labour leader is pictured leaving his London home today
He wrote: 'I wish to cancel my membership of the Labour Party and I am resigning as the chair of the Leicester East CLP.
'This is great disappointment to me, realising that I have spent over 30 years of my life working for a party that I know now that I have nothing in common with.
'This is not the party I joined, the party for decent working people.
'I can no longer follow the clown that leads the Labour Party, he is heavily influenced by the Trotskyite Len McCluskey and is now as the Hoki Coki (sic) leader, in out, and shake it all about he has turned this great party into a laughing stock.'
He heavily criticised the process by which Labour had chosen its candidate for Labour East.
Labour selected Claudia Webbe, a councillor in Mr Corbyn's Islington constituency in London, to fight the seat.
Mr Thomas said he was 'shocked' by the decision.
He asked: 'Where is the democracy in all this? It is a fix and a disgrace.'
A Labour spokesman told the BBC that Ms Webbe was an 'excellent candidate' for the Leicester East seat.
The spokesman said: 'Claudia Webbe is a BAME woman who was born in and grew up in Leicester.
'Her knowledge of the constituency, her extensive experience as a councillor and as a campaigner for equality for all ethnic minority groups make her an excellent candidate.'