Imagine what next Monday’s PLP meeting is going to be like if LAB loses Oldham

December 1st, 2015


Another Tuesday morning after the LAB meeting the night before

It’s Tuesday morning and like many other Tuesdays since Mr Corbyn had his huge victory in the Labour leadership election the political news is dominated by what happened at the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Last night the massive chasm between Corbyn and his MPs never appeared wider and it is hard to see how this can get any better. This is the new normality.

Corbyn has not helped himself by some unwise appointments. The role that he’s given Ken Livingston on defence looks like a massive mistake which has been exacerbated by the former Mayor’s comments on 7/7.

    For the time being the LAB leader and his MPs are stuck with each other in a loveless forced marriage and will be for the foreseeable future.

It’s in this context that Thursday’s Oldham West and Royton by-election takes place. This is a seat, remember, that Labour won with a majority of 34% on May 7th. The very idea that this could be vulnerable is breathtaking in itself.

If that happens the widespread perception that Corbyn is an electoral liability will be confirmed and you can bet that the LAB MPs who are most hostile to their leader will use it as pretext to put the pressure on even more.

On the other hand a victory, however small, might ease the jitters and give Mr Corbyn some respite.

Mike Smithson