I was pleased to see both the England and Scotland football teams stuck to their principles last night and wore their armbands with poppies on. We will now see what FIFA do. Nothing if they have any sense.
TheHouse of Commons has been on what some call half term and others a mini recess in that it only sat on Monday and Tuesday this week. It has given a chance to catch up with outstanding emails and paperwork. It has given the Lib Dems and others who refuse to accept the outcome of the referendum a chance to plan their opposition to any move to give Parliamentary approval to the giving of notice under Article 50 that we are going to leave the EU. Not surprisingly lots of people who voted to leave are now contacting me worried their vote was in vain. I am still of the view that the vast majority of MP’s will honour the referendum result and vote to give notice – I certainly will.
So there we have it Mr Corbyn wins the leadership of the Labour Party for the second time in a year this time with an even bigger mandate than last time. By any assessment it has been a disaster for the moderates in the Labour Party. They have been pursuing a determined course with the aim of removing Jeremy Corbyn.
The first step was to hold a vote of no confidence in the Parliamentary Labour Party – they won that easily but Jeremy stayed put.
The second step was to have a rolling series of resignations from the Shadow Cabinet and the lower Shadow Ministerial ranks. That did not work either. The gaps were either filled by bringing M.P.’s off the back benches or giving some more than one rôle. Some posts were simply left unfilled.
The third step – the nuclear option – was to have another leadership election. Unlike last year the moderates would be ready – ready to challenge the Leadership in the Courts if necessary to try to increase their chances of success. The cost of being a supporter was increased from £3 to £25. 120,000 more recent recruits were barred from taking part at all after another court battle. All to no avail.
Mr Corbyn increased his share of the vote from 59.5% to 61.8% and he won easily in each of the three categories of voters. The increase in Labour Party membership has been unmatched by any other party and Mr Corbyn now has a stronger grip on the leadership than before the challenge began.