Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of hypocrisy after he pleaded for cash from wealthy donors at a lavish function – despite blasting the Tories for being bankrolled by the rich.
The Labour leader attended the elite bash thrown by the Rose Network, a Labour supporting group whose members pay between £1,000 and £5,000 a year.
Mr Corbyn was the headline guest at the event, which was thrown at Grays Inn, the historic legal club in the City.
Attendees who had forked out the bumper membership fees were given dinner and rubbed shoulders with a string of leading Labour politicians.
Shadow cabinet ministers Emily Thornberry, Nia Griffith and Diane Abbott, and Labour’s Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were all at the dinner.
Mr Corbyn delivered a speech railing against the Tories and laying out his determination to force another General Election to topple Theresa May.
Labour’s shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith tweeted a photograph of Jeremy Corbyn attending the lavish event on Wednesday night. The elite labour group has been used by successive party leaders to get bug donations out of wealthy backers
Labour Party sources downplayed the event, held on Wednesday night, telling The Express that since being elected leader in 2015, Mr Corbyn had always attended the event.
The Rose Network used to be known as the Thousand Club, and the annual dinner was set up by Tony Blair in the 1990s so he could schmooze wealthy backers.
Corbyn flies to Portugal for socialist party conference as the UK is in the grip of Brexit chaos
Jeremy Corbyn today jetted out of the UK to go to a socialist conference in Portugal – as the UK is in the grip of a Brexit crisis.
The Labour leader is heading to the Party of European Socialists congress, and will return back to London tonight.
It comes just a week after jetting to Mexico to be a guest of honor at the inauguration of the new left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Meanwhile, Britain remains in the midst of the Brexit crisis, with Theresa May expected to suffer a catastrophic defeat when her deal is voted on by MPs next Tuesday.
But it was later rebranded as Labour tried to cast off its New Labour image of being too cosy with the super rich.
Mr Corbyn was out trying to drum up cash for his election warchest as the Government was plunged into chaos over the Brexit deal.
Mrs May is staring down the barrel of a massive and humiliating defeat when her divorce deal is voted on in the Commons on Tuesday.
Over 100 mutinous Tories have refused to back it, and the PM is expected to face fresh calls to be ousted from the leadership if she loses the vote by a massive margin.
As the Government teeters on the edge of collapse, Labour are trying to capitalise on the disarray by pushing their demand for another election.
A Labour source at the Rose Network event told the newspaper: ‘There was a big speech about the fact that if we’re going to win the next election, what we need to have is either part-time or full-time organisers in all the marginal constituencies.
‘The money that the Rose Network is going to pledge is going to be almost exclusively for grassroots organisers ready for the next election.
‘In terms of the Thousand Club, what is changing is that the donors now see Jeremy as somebody who will run Britain safely. Four years ago, they thought he was dangerous.’
But several Tory MPs lashed the Labour leader for throwing the event after spending his whole career taking aim at the rich.
Jeremy Corbyn was the headline guest at the event, which was thrown at Grays Inn, the historic legal club in the City (pictured)
Conservative minister Richard Harrington said: ‘It is obvious that Mr Corbyn is following the path that Tony Blair laid out for raising money from affluent donors – precisely the kind of thing he accuses the Conservative Party of doing.
‘I don’t think anyone will be fooled by the change of name. This is just aiming to fundraise for political purposes.’
Former minister Andrew Percy said: ‘This just proves what a hypocrite Jeremy Corbyn is – £5,000 just to attend a dinner is something most ordinary people can’t even relate to.
‘It goes to show that when it comes to trying to get into power, principles don’t seem to matter to Jeremy Corbyn.’
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘Unlike the Tories, who rely on a few super-rich donors to bankroll them, Labour is proud to be funded through small donations.
‘We of course welcome larger donations from those who can most afford it.’