Corbyn's foes out to wreck party, claims McDonnell
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has lashed out at opponents of Jeremy Corbyn, accusing them of trying to "destroy" the Labour Party in order to get rid of their leader.
Mr McDonnell said there was a "small group" within the party responsible for the current turmoil which has seen it beset by allegations of bullying, intimidation and abuse.
His comments came after former shadow minister Seema Malhotra disclosed she had lodged a formal complaint with the Speaker John Bercow after staff working for Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell entered her House of Commons office without permission.
Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, Mr McDonnell challenged critics of the leadership to confront them directly and not to "pick on" staff who were not in a position to defend themselves.
"We have got to stop this now. There is a small group out there that are willing to destroy our party just to remove Jeremy Corbyn. We have got to stop them," he said.
"If you want to come for me and Jeremy that's up to you, but don't pick on staff who can't defend themselves."
Ms Malhotra said the unauthorised entry by staff into her office constituted a serious breach of parliamentary privilege.
"The implications of this are extremely serious. This is a breach of parliamentary privilege and is a violation of the privacy, security and confidentiality of a member of parliament's office," she said.