Wednesday 17 June 2015 1:54 am

Labour leadership campaign: Tories support Corbyn in bid to damage party

Conservatives have launched a campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party in order to damage the party's electoral prospects. 

After Labour's poor results in the General Election, they believe that another left-leaning leader would lock the party out of government for another term. 

Changes in the Labour party rules now allow anyone to pay £3 and become a Labour "supporter", eligible to vote in the leadership ballot – which has led to speculation over abuse by opponents. 

Shortly after Corbyn won the support of 35 MPs in order to be placed on the ballot, the hashtag #ToriesForCorbyn was mounted in a bid to see the leftwinger elected. 

It was adopted on Twitter by the associate director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Marcus Walker.

Many Tories have changed their profile pictures to include "Jeremy Corbyn for leader" slogans – including former Conservative MP Louise Mensch. 

Labour supporters have issued mixed reactions to his bid for leadership. While some have welcomed the diversity of opinions in the debates, others have complained about the party's inability to recognise the flaws in Ed Miliband's campaign. 

John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw, said that Corbyn's candidacy showed the party’s "desire never to win again".

Corbyn is the candidate with the fewest supporting MPs on the leadership ballot – joining favourite Andy Burnham, alongside Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. 

Corbyn's campaign branded some of the language in the movement as "deeply disturbing", saying that it "won't be fighting fire with fire, [but] we'll be fighting fire with water". It promised to highlight the positive alternatives offered in his campaign.