FELICITY COLLIER finds Chingford Labour is delighted at backing from world legend
SNOOKER champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is the latest sign-up to Labour’s campaign to unseat Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith.
Labour’s candidate in Chingford and Wood Green, Bilal Mahmood, welcomed support from “first-time canvasser and snooker world legend” O’Sullivan on Sunday.
The snooker supremo has been backing Jeremy Corbyn since 2015, and recently posted: “This country needs Jeremy Corbyn more than ever ... enough of the Tories.”
Following Corbyn’s announcement that the party are in “permanent campaign mode,” hundreds of people turned out in Chingford last week to ramp up the pressure on the former work and pensions secretary.
Duncan Smith is reviled for his stint at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the David Cameron government, when he fought long and hard to hide statistics showing that thousands of people had died within weeks of being declared “fit for work” in work capability assessments carried out by privateer Atos.
The DWP blocked a freedom of information request for the figures and claimed not to collect them. They then appealed against a decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office ordering them to release the data, finally caving in August 2015.
Corbyn has insisted that Labour will remain on an election footing after its gains last month and plans to visit 73 marginal constituencies to rally the troops.
Prior to the snap general election, O’Sullivan encouraged his fans on Twitter to join the Labour Party, saying: “Just joined the Labour Party to support Jeremy Corbyn to be the next prime minister.”
When challenged over his love of Corbyn’s policies on Twitter, he defiantly said: “I love paying tax ... As long as it goes to the right people who need it like the NHS and education.”
He has blogged about his support for Labour on the Eurosport website as far back as 2015, revealing that Labour signalled a political turning point, describing it as “refreshing to have an MP like Corbyn that says it as it is.”
O’Sullivan has also shown his support for justice for Grenfell, saying on Twitter: “Someone needs to be made accountable for the fire.
“This is by far the worst thing to have happened in my lifetime.
“Let’s make sure there is no cover-up.”
Corbyn picked up celebrity backing from comedian Steve Coogan just before the election in June.