The notoriously anti-Corbyn Labour MP, Mike Gapes, has become the darling of the mainstream media recently after repeatedly attacking his own party leader Jeremy Corbyn over his refusal to talk to the Prime Minister Theresa May unless she rules out a No Deal Brexit.
On Tuesday, Gapes posted a tweet attacking the Labour leader for engaging with those he profoundly disagreed with, such as Hamas, whilst simultaneously refusing to engage with the Prime Minister unless she put the national interest first and took a potential No Deal Brexit off the table.
The Ilford South MP wrote:
“Apparently Corbyn is prepared to hold talks with Hamas, Hezbollah, Assad and Iran without preconditions. But not with the UK Prime Minister. Why ?”
Apparently Corbyn is prepared to hold talks with Hamas, Hezbollah, Assad and Iran without preconditions. But not with the UK Prime Minister. Why ? https://t.co/zcvxkptw7U
— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) January 17, 2019
Gapes then proudly continued the attack on BBC News, lambasting his own party leader as supposedly being “quite happy in the past to talk to Hamas“, but not now to the Prime Minister over Brexit.
"Jeremy Corbyn has been quite happy in the past to talk to Hamas, Hezobollah… I find it extraordinary he's not prepared to go and meet the prime minister"
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) January 17, 2019
Gapes’ Hamas quip was also gladly taken up by BBC Question Time researchers last night, with a seemingly delighted host Fiona Bruce using the remark to attack Mr Corbyn.
The attack line was also co-opted by the Conservative Party, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock also posting a similarly-phrased tweet.
However, unfortunately for Mr Gapes, it has since emerged that the Labour leader is not the only one who is “quite happy” to talk to those he fundamentally disagrees with, such as Hamas.
Indeed, in 2007, the right-wing Labour MP for Ilford South – yes, Mr Gapes himself – wrote a column for The Guardian which was literally entitled:
“Time to talk to Hamas”
The article, as you can probably tell from the particularly imaginative headline, is an entire piece, written entirely by Mr Gapes himself, which literally endorses and promotes the idea of talking to Hamas.
And no, we’re really not making this up:
Why have you chosen to repeatedly lambast Jeremy Corbyn for ‘speaking to Hamas’ when you literally wrote a Guardian article entitled “Time to talk to Hamas” that promoted exactly that stance in 2007?
We look forward to your response.https://t.co/SMAlSSA0qS
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) January 18, 2019
Gapes has also repeatedly attacked the Labour leader over his dialogue with Hamas, tweeting twice in 2016 that the Labour leader’s discussions with the Palestinian organisation made him a “friend of Hamas“.
Agree. But won't win with anti NATO, anti nuclear friend of Hamas and Hezbollah, Corbyn https://t.co/BzVxs7BtdA
— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) August 30, 2016
Unsurprisingly, Mr Gapes came in for a little light ribbing over his extraordinarily brazen hypocrisy:
Care to explain this @MikeGapes ?
Is it that certain things are fine, just so long as the person isn’t Jeremy Corbyn? pic.twitter.com/8I9LNyX7By
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) January 18, 2019
Didn't you write this article in The Guardian back in 2007 in which you tell readers that it's "time to talk to Hamas", or is it only the likes of Blair who are allowed to do that? You're a stinking hypocrite.https://t.co/Us1ebFir2P https://t.co/3zwuPF5MCh
— Buddy Hell (@buddy_hell) January 18, 2019
The internet never forgets. Mike Gapes, the hypocrites’ hypocrite. https://t.co/kqXvdIxFzg
— Brian Tweedale (@BrianHTweed) January 18, 2019
The so-called Labour MP has since responded to the astonishingly ironic turn of events by intelligently labelling those pointing out his brazen hypocrisy as “Trot trolls”, tweeting:
“Delighted that Trot trolls have discovered this from 2007. It deserves wider circulation. But it changes nothing. Corbyn should engage with PM May on Brexit without preconditions.”
Delighted that Trot trolls have discovered this from 2007. It deserves wider circulation. But it changes nothing. Corbyn should engage with PM May on Brexit without preconditions.
Mike Gapes: Time to talk to Hamas | World news | The Guardian https://t.co/yY8UVneMDH
— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) January 18, 2019
As Evolve Politics asked yesterday on Twitter, why exactly do Labour members in Ilford South put up with this ridiculous man?
It remains to be seen whether they will for much longer.