London

Jeremy Corbyn's brother 'part of Lambeth council meeting disruption'

Piers Corbyn on BBC's This Week programme
Image caption Piers Corbyn told the BBC he was there for part of the meeting but talked to people rather than shouting

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's brother was in a group that "screamed abuse in the faces" of party councillors at a meeting in south London, it is claimed.

Piers Corbyn took part in the demonstration at Lilian Baylis School in Oval, but insists he did not behave inappropriately.

The school was hosting a meeting of Lambeth Council's Labour cabinet on Monday night.

The regeneration of council houses in the borough was being discussed.

Councillors said the disruption of the public meeting amounted to "bullying anger that has not been seen in years".

One told me Mr Corbyn was "chanting and shouting" and "having a whale of a time."

'Talking to people'

Piers Corbyn told the BBC he was "there for part of the meeting" and there was "screaming and shouting" but he personally sought to make his points by talking to people, rather than shouting.

One political source in the borough said the meeting was hijacked by a "ragbag bunch of lefties", including members of the Communist Party and Momentum, the group that was set up to help Jeremy Corbyn become Labour's leader.

Image copyright BBC Twitter grab
Image caption A picture of Piers Corbyn was tweeted by the Class War group

I've seen a letter sent by one of those who attended, to the chairman of the local constituency Labour Party.

In it, the councillor says there was "so much shouting and jeering the meeting was impossible", and added protesters "sat at the edge of the tiered seating began kicking the steel frame/wall in a backwards motion. I thought it was going to collapse."

"It is completely, utterly unacceptable for there to be the kicking of school property like that," the councillor adds.

Another told me it amounted to the "vitriolic sabotage" of a meeting of elected representatives and chants of "liar, liar" and "corrupt, corrupt" were shouted at both councillors and civil servants.

A video of part of the meeting has been posted on YouTube and shows protesters shouting "shame on you" and "out, out out" before the meeting is suspended.

Mr Corbyn was later pictured with his fists clenched and smiling.

The photo - posted on the Twitter feed of the Class War group - included the caption: "@jeremycorbyn's brother Piers with @classwar2015 in the pub after disrupting Lambeth council meeting last night."

'People are livid'

Piers Corbyn told me he wanted to be there because "treacherous Blairite councillors are in bed with developers" in the borough and it had to be stopped.

"There is lots of anger about the demolition of local council housing," Mr Corbyn said, but he insisted "nothing violent or bad went on."

"People are livid, the councillors are a disgrace to democracy," he added.

Asked about the alleged abuse of school property, Mr Corbyn laughed.

"It was just the hitting of a piece of scaffolding, that's all," he said.

There's been no response yet from Jeremy Corbyn's office.

A source said "he doesn't comment on anything to do with his family".