Advisers to Jeremy Corbyn have labelled Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan as "hostile" to the Labour leadership, despite Khan being one of 35 Labour MPs to nominate Corbyn for party leader last summer.
The Times reported today that an internal Labour party document divided the party's MPs into five groups: core, core group plus, neutral but not hostile, core group negative and hostile.
Khan was among the MPs listed as hostile, alongside Labour's chief whip Rosie Winterton, former party leader Ed Miliband and former deputy party leader Harriet Harman. Former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie and Yvette Cooper were also on the "hostile" list.
One Labour MP told the Times the list echoed the tactics of former US president Richard Nixon, who drew up lists of his enemies before resigning amid the Watergate scandal in 1974.
Khan has repeatedly sought to distance himself from the Labour leader in the race for City Hall, saying in a speech last month: "I won’t be anyone’s patsy – I’ll stand up for Londoners against anyone who threatens their interests. Whether it’s David Cameron or Jeremy Corbyn – if they get it wrong, I’ll say so."
Meanwhile, Khan's Conservative rival, Zac Goldsmith, has looked to tie the Labour candidate to Corbyn, saying in campaign materials that Khan would be "Corbyn's man in City Hall".
Responding to the Times report this morning, a spokesman for Goldsmith said: "Khan backed Corbyn to lead the Labour Party and still says he’d do it again.
"He experimented with Corbyn and wrecked his party, don’t let him experiment with City Hall and ruin our city."