- Angela Smith – noted for her place in the 2009 expenses scandal – backed the vote of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn which led to the leadership election, in which Corbyn was re-elected as leader
- Graham Jones on record as saying he could not serve under Mr Corbyn as he was from the “extreme left” and did not hold Labour’s “true values”
As the Times and some Labour MPs try to provoke Jeremy Corbyn over the situation in Venezuela – ‘damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t’ – it must be galling for them to see that public favour has never been higher.
Right wing media grudgingly acknowledges Corbyn’s power to draw huge crowds and hundreds of website readers from 36 other countries visited (left – a record number): “Jeremy Corbyn rocks Glastonbury’ – Murdoch resumes the ‘bashathon’ “
Crowds again turned out in Hastings, Southampton ( below), Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, the Durham Miners Gala and London.
And even more striking because less transient, news forwarded by Felicity Arbuthnot, that an 8ft-tall artwork depicting North Islington MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been unveiled on the side of a pub in Archway. The artist, Sam Collins, spent a month on the mural, crafted by putting together A3 plywood squares painted at his studio.
Tony Cullen, the owner said “I’ve never seen someone so honest and willing to be accountable. I love that he’s changing the political landscape, moving it to ordinary people away from elites . . . Jeremy seemed very embarrassed, but he said [he] appreciates the quality of the art – it really captured him.”
Too much saccharine? Turn to the readers of the Times, who say that JC draws ‘Fake crowds’, is a cult leader, IRA-lover and supporter of Islamofascist terrorist murderers.
A more understated reaction: ‘The face of honest politics’.
In The Times today: under Corbyn, new members are still joining up at an unprecedented thousand a week
In the Times, Jenni Russell reports that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are buoyed by their tremendous popularity with members and their growing experience of how to handle the party and PMQs. Editing out the inevitable snide remarks, the article continues:
“Jeremy’s not going to stand down,” says one insider. “He’s really warmed to the job. You couldn’t have had the experiences he’s had and not be strengthened by it.
“Everywhere he goes he gets the most amazing reaction. He gets mobbed.
People wait outside halls and want selfies and autographs. And new members are still joining up at a thousand a week. That’s unprecedented. He’s not just an ordinary lefty politician — he really communicates with people”.
Corbyn’s circle believe he has more than minority appeal. They think he can build a broad alliance, including disheartened former UKIP supporters. They no longer fear a coup, realising that the two main suggestions for deposing Corbyn won’t work and now accept that he would have to be argued out of power, by a revitalised alliance of soft left, moderates and Blairites. Ms Russell thinks that such a challenge is unlikely to happen until 2018 or 2019.
Ms Russell ends by saying that Corbyn’s team believe they can win a sceptical country – and his opponents in the party believe that they can win over a sceptical party.