LABOUR voters have rounded on “invisible” Jeremy Corbyn today as fury grows over his controversial decision not to visit the flood-ravage north.
Fuming party supporters demanded to know why their leader has not travelled to York to meet with Labour voters flooded out of their homes as criticism of his handling of the crisis mounted.
The horrendous floods which have plagued large areas of northern England have been met with an unusual wall of silence from Mr Corbyn, even though much of the worst devastation has taken place in traditional Labour heartlands.
Prime Minister David Cameron was heckled over cuts to flood defences as he donned his wellies to pay a visit to flood-ravaged York yesterday.
But his beleaguered rival was accused of missing an “open goal” by his own supporters as Labour’s haphazard response to the crisis was savagely attacked.
Mr Corbyn spent a few days last week at a hotel specialising in “destress” treatments in Malta with his wife, but is believed to have since returned to Britain.
Some critics speculated he could be locked in talks over an upcoming shadow cabinet reshuffle, during which he is expected to purge moderates including Hilary Benn after their support for airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS).
But it was his decision to shun the communities of the flood-ravage north which came in for the harshest criticism.
Mr Corbyn has sent a single solitary tweet, posted on Boxing Day, praising volunteers helping families flooded out of their homes, but has otherwise maintained a stony silence.
However, he did find time out from his busy schedule to write a long-winded piece in a national newspaper today calling on David Cameron to agree to yearly TV debates against him.
His communications team also took a moment to tweet barbed criticism of those who have argued taxpayers’ money should be spent protecting poplin the UK, rather than being sent to corrupt dictatorships abroad as foreign aid.
In response an unimpressed Ben West tweeted: “Amidst the political open goal of the floods Jeremy Corbyn is talking up the importance of a TV debate?”
Engineer Chris Howe said: “Has Corbyn come out from his Southern bunker to visit Northern flood hot towns yet?”
Ian Bartlett tweeted: “I’d like to know where the bloody hell he is. Chaos all around and he’s giving Cameron a free ride. Utterly useless.”
Another furious user, writing under the handle @128beatspm, added: “Where’s Corbyn when all his constituencies are flooded? PM gets it in the neck but the vast majority of those affected are in Labour strongholds – where’s Corbyn in his wellies?”
The Islington North MP has been plagued by a series of PR gaffes since he became Labour leader in September, and his lacklustre response to the flooding crisis will only intensify scrutiny on his ability to communicate with voters.
Mr Corbyn tweeted on Boxing Day: “Heart goes out to the tens of thousands affected by the floods and huge gratitude to incredible efforts of army, firefighters and volunteers.”
His office’s account sent another message reading “we shouldn’t now forget our values and focus on cutting aid to poor around the globe”, but there has been precious other evidence that he has even acknowledges the devastation sweeping the north.