THE director of a Labour think tank who suggested smuggler gangs should be put on a barge and sent to Scotland is reportedly “seeking a parliamentary seat”.

Josh Simons is the director of Labour Together, which was founded by a group of MPs including shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.

Speaking on LBC back in February, Simons came in for fierce criticism from a number of figures across Scotland as he hit out at the Government’s Rwanda scheme.

He said: “I mean, you know, why don’t you send the smuggler gangs and put them on the barge that you know has been set aside for the asylum seekers and then, you know, ship the barge up to the north of Scotland, who cares?”

In an interview with The New Statesman, it’s reported that Simons is “seeking a parliamentary seat”.

He said: “I really believe politics matters in the age we live in. Many people don’t enter politics because it’s a tough job that almost always ends in failure.

“Personally, I’ve not stood for selection because my focus has been on building Labour Together.

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“Going forward, I will support Keir’s project however I best can.”

The New Statesman interview adds that some believe Simons will serve a political role in a Labour government should he fail to win selection.

Simons also spoke about his own introduction to politics when he served as a policy adviser to Jeremy Corbyn (below).

The National: Jeremy Corbyn was asked about his stance on Scottish independence while appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe (PA)

However, he resigned due to the leadership’s “persistent failure” to confront antisemitism.

He said: “It still makes my stomach churn when I relive some of the memories from that period.

“After Keir became leader, I remember going back up to the leader of the opposition’s office in Norman Shaw South and reliving some of the memories of being there in the Corbyn era.

“It was almost a physically uncomfortable thing. The first thing I was shocked by was the lack of professionalism.

“People just showed up to the office late. When they discovered that I was Jewish, I got put in charge of the relationships with the Jewish community.

“It took a while for the pattern in their behaviour to become clearer and clearer to me. But when it did, it was slightly terrifying.”