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Corbyn in again. What now for the Labour Party?

Monday, September 26, 2016

 

The Summer of 2016 will go down as one that was exceptionally divisive, bordering on farcical, for the UK Labour party. One by one members of Her Majesty's Opposition refused to serve in Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet preferring to operate in the shadows to find a challenger to his leadership.

In the end, loyal members, chiefly John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry were wheeled out to explain the turmoil time after time as other MPs doubled up their positions to fill the counter-posts at the dispatch box.

After Deputy Leader Tom Watson ruled himself out (but still thought JC should resign - nice and awkward) Angela Eagle was the first person who after a week of deliberation declared her intention to stand against him. Eagle, also a left-wing candidate, had proved impressive against George Osborne at Prime Minister's Questions and had held posts in Gordon Brown's government. After a decent start her official launch proved somewhat of a disaster. First off the look and feel felt a bit more like a daytime chat show but unfortunately it coincided with Andrea Leadsom dropping out of the Tory leadership race. As she went to invite questions from well-known journalists they were no longer there. Owen Smith then declared his intention to stand as the working class Welshman in touch with the people. In a move which frankly shafted Angela Eagle he was made the only 'unity' candidate against Corbyn.

The campaign itself soon began to show that yes some Corbyn-supporters had become a little disillusioned but the cult following overall remained strong and he may even increase his share of the vote. Smith failed to energise the Labour base not helped by implying that we should be negotiating with ISIS.

On Saturday the expected announcement came. Jeremy Corbyn had won with 61.8% of the vote. He now calls on unity from within the Labour party but if the faces of many of the MPs there is anything to go by there is more chance of Ed Balls winning Strictly after gaining 40 points in the Samba.

The Labour Party, to the glee of the Conservatives, can do nothing now but limp through to the General Election in 2020. The real problem remains with the Labour Members of Parliament who now have no alternative but to shut-up. They, whilst crying into their drinks in Liverpool, will start to do their best to distance themselves from their leader. Many will now face a hard decision if invited to join the Shadow Cabinet, appear on panel shows, have visits or Corbyn's face on their election leaflets. I bet Ed Balls is really delighted he's out of it all now.

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