Jeremy Corbyn doesn't want "charity" to get selected. Photo: Flickr/Garry Knight
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Jeremy Corbyn is against "charity nominations", but would he accept a few coppers from Andy Burnham?

Surely Jeremy Corbyn owes it to his leftwing supporters to accept a helping hand from Andy Burnham, if he's within touching distance of the ballot paper?

Jeremy Corbyn has 18 MPs to win over to reach the Labour leadership ballot paper. With nominations closing next Monday, it looks like he's running out of time.

And selection looks even less likely now he has come out against "charity nominations" from other candidates, telling Total Politics he wants "people to choose of their own volition, I don’t want charity".

But considering Corbyn entered the race to broaden the debate and provide an anti-austerity candidate, would he really undermine his goal by rejecting nominations "lent" by other candidates if he were within a whisker of reaching 35?

Andy Burnham has said he's open to giving Corbyn a "helping hand", as long as it wouldn't provide his leftwing rival with an "artificial" level of support.

I hear Burnham would be happy to lend one or two supporters to squeak Corbyn over the line, but wouldn't want to hand over a whole batch. Jitters remain in the Burnham camp about "shy Cooper" supporters who are yet to come out of the woodwork, which mean they don't want to give away more nominations than necessary. (Burnham and Yvette Cooper currently have the greatest parliamentary backing, with 60 and 43 nominations, respectively).

So would Corbyn accept Burnham's charity if it meant he tossed one or two coppers into his nomination cap? Surely his supporters would appreciate him accepting some good old-fashioned redistribution of wealth.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn turns "the nasty party" back on Theresa May

The Labour leader exploited Conservative splits over disability benefits.

It didn't take long for Theresa May to herald the Conservatives' Copeland by-election victory at PMQs (and one couldn't blame her). But Jeremy Corbyn swiftly brought her down to earth. The Labour leader denounced the government for "sneaking out" its decision to overrule a court judgement calling for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to be extended to those with severe mental health problems.

Rather than merely expressing his own outrage, Corbyn drew on that of others. He smartly quoted Tory backbencher Heidi Allen, one of the tax credit rebels, who has called on May to "think agan" and "honour" the court's rulings. The Prime Minister protested that the government was merely returning PIPs to their "original intention" and was already spending more than ever on those with mental health conditions. But Corbyn had more ammunition, denouncing Conservative policy chair George Freeman for his suggestion that those "taking pills" for anxiety aren't "really disabled". After May branded Labour "the nasty party" in her conference speech, Corbyn suggested that the Tories were once again worthy of her epithet.

May emphasised that Freeman had apologised and, as so often, warned that the "extra support" promised by Labour would be impossible without the "strong economy" guaranteed by the Conservatives. "The one thing we know about Labour is that they would bankrupt Britain," she declared. Unlike on previous occasions, Corbyn had a ready riposte, reminding the Tories that they had increased the national debt by more than every previous Labour government.

But May saved her jibe of choice for the end, recalling shadow cabinet minister Cat Smith's assertion that the Copeland result was an "incredible achivement" for her party. "I think that word actually sums up the Right Honourable Gentleman's leadership. In-cred-ible," May concluded, with a rather surreal Thatcher-esque flourish.

Yet many economists and EU experts say the same of her Brexit plan. Having repeatedly hailed the UK's "strong economy" (which has so far proved resilient), May had better hope that single market withdrawal does not wreck it. But on Brexit, as on disability benefits, it is Conservative rebels, not Corbyn, who will determine her fate.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.