Twitter revolts!

"I am Spartacus" trends as Twitter responds in solidarity to Paul Chambers losing his appeal.

Twitter is in revolt after Paul Chambers yesterday lost his appeal against a conviction for sending a menacing electronic communication.

Chambers sent the following tweet publicly over the social networking website:

"Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

This flippant and foolish comment has so far cost Chambers his job, a £1,000 fine and given him a criminal record, which he had hoped his appeal would remove. Judge Jacqueline Davies, however, upheld the judgement, calling Chambers an "unimpressive witness" and declaring that he "could not be unaware of the possible consequences."

She also claimed that: "Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed."

If Judge Davies is to be believed, then, ordinary people would do well to steer clear of Twitter for the next few days, as thousands of Twitter users have copied Chambers' offending tweet, with the hashtag #IAmSpartacus.

Twitter is currently very alarming, with new tweets appearing every minute threatening to blow up South Yorkshire's main airport.

In Spartacus, those who cried out in solidarity with the slave leader faced crucifixion too. Thankfully, these brave tweeters face no such threat. Chambers was charged with sending a "menacing" message. The menace is apparently lost when thousands of people copy it, however, and thus no law has been broken. Robin Hood Airport is safe for now.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader. Getty
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Will Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister after the 2017 general election?

Can Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn win the 2017 general election? 

Jeremy Corbyn could be the next prime minister. Admittedly, it’s highly unlikely. After less than two years as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party into a snap general election. Labour behind in the latest general election polls and underperformed badly in the recent local elections. But since the election was called, Labour’s position in the polls has been improving. Can we trust the general election polls?

This isn’t the first vote of national significance since his election, however, since he was in office during the 2016 EU referendum. It’s also not Corbyn’s first serious challenge: after the Brexit vote, his MPs voted “no confidence” in him and Owen Smith challenged him for the leadership. Corbyn saw off that threat to his position convincingly, so can he pull out another electoral triumph and become prime minister? 

Can Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister after the general election 2017?

Do the polls predict a Labour victory?

Since May 2015, the Conservative Party has consistently led in the polls. The latest polls give Labour ratings in the mid 30s, while the Conservatives are on the mid-40s. Recent improvements in Labour’s standing still leave Jeremy Corbyn a long way from becoming prime minister.

But should we believe the general election polls? Glen O’Hara, professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University, points out that the polls have been wrong before, and could be overstating Labour’s collapse. However, a 20-point gap is far outside the margin of error. A Corbyn win would be an unprecedented upset.

What is Labour's record on elections?

At the 2016 local elections, Labour did not gain any councils and lost 18 seats and 4 per cent of the vote. James Schneider, the co-founder of Momentum who is now Corbyn’s head of strategic communications, said this showed Labour was on the right trajectory, but it’s a disappointment for an opposition to make no gains. And at the Copeland by-election this February, Labour lost the seat to the Tories – the first government gain in a by-election since 1982.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s path to power would be one of the greatest surprises in British politics. But unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. It would take some extraordinary events, but it could happen. Check out the latest odds to see how the markets rate his chances.

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