By Kris Jepson
The Durham Miners’ Association says its Gala tomorrow is more important than ever, as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meets the party's grassroots supporters.
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The DMA has withdrawn its hospitality luncheon invitations to local Labour MPs who have resigned their shadow cabinet positions in protest to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and that is why the group thinks the event is important.
"It's huge, particularly with what has taken place over the last couple of weeks with several so-called Labour MPs who have decided to stab Jeremy in the back. Why should we have somebody who has done that, a Labour MP, sit on that platform with a man they have stabbed in the back? That's hypocritical."
City of Durham MP Robert Blackman-Woods is one of those politicians who resigned from the shadow cabinet. She defended her stance.
"They've got to really look at why 172 members of Parliament resigned. Many of us gave Jeremy time to settle in as leader and we thought he had long enough and that we really felt he wasn’t reaching out to a wider Labour movement and Labour supporters and critically to the country and we want to get a leader who can bring the party together so we can unify behind a new person."
Thousands of people are expected to see Jeremy Corbyn’s speech tomorrow and organisers are suggesting tens of thousands of people will enjoy the Gala and parades throughout the city.