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Who nominated who in the 2015 Labour deputy leadership election?

The deputy leadership candidates needed 35 MPs to back them. Who backed who?

Tom Watson, Caroline Flint, Stella Creasy, Ben Bradshaw and Angela Eagle are all on the ballot for the deputy leadership election. Watson, the bookmakers' favourite, will square off against Flint, Creasy, Bradshaw and Eagle. John Healey, who announced his intentions to run, secured 21 nominations before pulling out as he was unable to get the 35 names he amassed.

Rushanara Ali secured 24 nominations before pulling out to guarantee that Creasy, Bradshaw and Eagle all made the ballot. 

The Labour deputy leadership hopefuls needed 35 MPs to nominate them in order to run, out of 232 MPs overall. 

Who nominated who?

Ben Bradshaw (37)

 

Heidi Alexander MP for Lewisham East

Rushanara Ali MP for Bethnal Green and Bow

Clive Betts MP for Sheffield South East

Ben Bradshaw MP for Exeter

Lyn Brown MP for West Ham

Chris Bryant MP for Rhondda

Karen Buck MP for Westminster North

Neil Coyle MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

Geraint Davies MP for Swansea West

Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West

Clive Efford MP for Eltham

Chris Evans MP for Islwyn

Frank Field MP for Birkenhead

Paul Flynn MP for Newport West

Helen Goodman MP for Bishop Auckland

Fabian Hamilton MP for Leeds North East

Meg Hillier MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch

Tristram Hunt MP for Stoke-On-Trent Central

Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton

Huw Irranca-Davies MP for Ogmore

Alan Johnson MP for Hull West and Hessle

Diana Johnson MP for Hull North

Susan Elan Jones MP for Clwyd South

Sadiq Khan MP for Tooting

Peter Kyle MP for Hove

Gordon Marsden MP for Blackpool South

Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East

Catherine McKinnell MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North

Matthew Pennycook MP for Greenwich and Woolwich

Bridget Phillipson MP for Houghton and Sunderland South

Yasmin Qureshi MP for Bolton South East

Andrew Slaughter MP for Hammersmith

Andrew Smith MP for Oxford East

Keir Starmer MP for Holborn and St Pancras

Emily Thornberry MP for Islington South and Finsbury

Stephen Timms MP for East Ham

Valerie Vaz MP for Walsall South

 

Stella Creasy (35)

Debbie Abrahams MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth

Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth

Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham

Jenny Chapman MP for Darlington

Jo Cox MP for Batley and Spen

Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow

Stephen Doughty MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

Louise Ellman MP for Liverpool, Riverside

Kate Green MP for Stretford and Urmston

Kate Hollern MP for Blackburn

Dan Jarvis MP for Barnsley Central

Gerald Jones MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

Mike Kane MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East

Chris Leslie MP for Nottingham East

Holly Lynch MP for Halifax

Fiona Mactaggart MP for Slough

Ian Murray MP for Edinburgh South

Melanie Onn MP for Great Grimsby

Jamie Reed MP for Copeland

Steve Reed MP for Croydon North

Gavin Shuker MP for Luton South

Karin Smyth MP for Bristol South

Wes Streeting MP for Ilford North

Graham Stringer MP for Blackley and Broughton

Gareth Thomas MP for Harrow West

Stephen Twigg MP for Liverpool, West Derby

Catherine West MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness

Madeleine Moon MP for Bridgend

Diane Abbott MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Chuka Umunna MP for Streatham

David Lammy MP for Tottenham

Ivan Lewis MP for Bury North

 

Angela Eagle (38)

Margaret Beckett MP for Derby South

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP for City of Durham

Paul Blomfield MP for Sheffield Central

Nick Brown MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne East

Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central

Ann Clwyd MP for Cynon Valley

Julie Cooper MP for Burnley

Maria Eagle MP for Garston and Halewood

Angela Eagle MP for Wallasey

Bill Esterson MP for Sefton Central

Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South

Pat Glass MP for North West Durham

Margaret Greenwood MP for Wirral West

Lilian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South

Nia Griffith MP for Llanelli

Andrew Gwynne MP for Denton and Reddish

John Healey MP for Wentworth and Dearne

Mark Hendrick MP for Preston

Sharon Hodgson MP for Washington and Sunderland West

Kelvin Hopkins MP for Luton North

Seema Malhotra MP for Feltham and Heston

Rachael Maskell MP for York Central

John McDonnell MP for Hayes and Harlington

Alison McGovern MP for Wirral South

Liz McInnes MP for Heywood and Middleton

Michael Meacher MP for Oldham West and Royton

Teresa Pearce MP for Erith and Thamesmead

Stephen Pound MP for Ealing North

Angela Rayner MP for Ashton-Under-Lyne

Christina Rees MP for Neath

Marie Rimmer MP for St Helens South and Whiston

Steve Rotheram MP for Liverpool, Walton

Tulip Siddiq MP for Hampstead and Kilburn

Cat Smith MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Jon Trickett MP for Hemsworth

Derek Twigg MP for Halton

Keith Vaz MP for Leicester East

Daniel Zeichner MP for Cambridge

 

Caroline Flint (43)

Hilary Benn MP for Leeds central
Luciana Berger MP for Liverpool, Wavertree
Tom Blenkinsop MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
Ann Coffey MP for Stockport
Alex Cunningham MP for Stockton North
Nic Dakin MP for Scunthorpe
Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale
Wayne David MP for Caerphilly
Jim Dowd MP for Lewisham West & Penge
Jack Dromey MP for Birmingham, Erdington
Julie Elliott MP for Sunderland Central
Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse
Caroline Flint MP for Don Valley
Yvonne Fovargue MP for Makerfield
Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North
Mary Glindon MP for North Tyneside
David Hanson MP for Delyn
Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea East
Margaret Hodge MP for Barking
Kate Hoey MP for Vauxhall
George Howarth MP for Knowsley
Graham Jones MP for Hyndburn
Gerald Kaufman MP for Manchester Gorton
Stephen Kinnock MP for Aberavon
Siobhain McDonagh MP for Mitcham and Morden
Pat McFadden MP for Wolverhampton South East
Jessica Morden MP for Newport East
Albert Owen MP for Ynys Mon
Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield CLP
Johnny Reynolds MP for Stalybridge and Hyde
Emma Reynolds MP for Wolverhampton North East
Joan Ryan MP for Enfield North
Barry Sheerman MP for Huddersfield
Owen Smith MP for Pontypridd
Angela Smith MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge
Gisela Stuart MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston
Nick Thomas-Symonds MP for Torfaen
Anna Turley MP for Redcar
Karl Turner MP for Kingston Upon Hull East
Alan Whitehead MP for Southampton Test
Phil Wilson MP for Sedgefield

 

Tom Watson (62) 

Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon

Jon Ashworth MP for Leicester South

Ian Austin MP for Dudley North

Adrian Bailey MP for West Bromwich West

Kevin Brennan MP for Cardiff West

Richard Burden MP for Birmingham, Northfield

Richard Burgon MP for Leeds East

Liam Byrne MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill

Ronnie Campbell MP for Blyth Valley

Vernon Coaker MP for Gedling

David Crausby MP for Bolton North East

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham

Judith Cummins MP for Bradford South

Jim Cunningham MP for Coventry South

Gloria De Piero MP for Ashfield

Michael Dugher MP for Barnsley East

Paul Farrelly MP for Newcastle-Under-Lyme

Rob Flello MP for Stoke-On-Trent South

Coleen Fletcher MP for Coventry North East

Vicky Foxcroft MP for Lewisham, Deptford

Roger Godsiff MP for Birmingham, Hall Green

Louise Haig MP for Sheffield, Heeley

Harry Harpham MP for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough

Sue Hayman MP for Workington

Stephen Hepburn MP for Jarrow

Imran Hussain MP for Bradford East

Kevan Jones MP for North Durham

Helen Jones MP for Warrington North

Barbara Keeley MP for Worsley and Eccles South

Ian Lavery MP for Wansbeck

Emma Lewell-Buck MP for South Shields

Clive Lewis MP for Norwich South

Rebecca Long Bailey MP for Salford and Eccles

Ian Lucas MP for Wrexham

Justin Madders MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston

Khalid Mahmood MP for Birmingham, Perry Barr

Shabana Mahmood MP for Birmingham, Ladywood

Rob Marris MP for Wolverhampton South West

Chris Matheson MP for City of Chester

Stephen McCabe MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak

Andy McDonald MP for Middlesbrough

Conor McGinn MP for St Helens North

Alan Meale MP for Mansfield

Ian Mearns MP for Gateshead

Grahame Morris MP for Easington

Lisa Nandy MP for Wigan

Kate Osamor MP for Edmonton

Jess Phillips MP for Birmingham Yardley

Lucy Powell MP for Manchester Central

Rachel Reeves MP for Leeds West

Geoffrey Robinson MP for Coventry North West

Naz Shah MP for Bradford West

Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing, Southall

Dennis Skinner MP for Bolsover

Ruth Smeeth MP for Stoke-on-Trent North

Jeff Smith MP for Manchester Withington

Nick Smith MP for Blaenau Gwent

John Spellar MP for Warley

Jo Stevens MP for Cardiff Central

Tom Watson MP for West Bromwich East

David Winnick MP for Walsall North

Iain Wright MP for Hartlepool

 

 

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How Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership election

The revolt against the leader transformed him from an incumbent back into an insurgent. 

On the evening of 12 July, after six hours of talks, Jeremy Corbyn emerged triumphantly from Labour’s headquarters. “I’m on the ballot paper!” he told supporters gathered outside. “We will be campaigning on all the things that matter.”

The contest that Corbyn’s opponents had sought desperately to avoid had begun. Neither a vote of no confidence by 81 per cent of Labour MPs, nor 65 frontbench resignations had persuaded him to stand down. Days of negotiations led by Tom Watson had failed (“For years I’ve been told that I’m a fixer. Well, I tried to fix this and I couldn’t,” Labour’s deputy leader sorrowfully told the parliamentary party). The rebels’ last hope was that the National Executive Committee would force Corbyn to reseek nominations. After being backed by just 40 colleagues in the confidence vote, both sides knew that the leader would struggle to achieve 51 signatures.

But by 18-14, the NEC ruled that Corbyn would be automatically on the ballot (“Watson, Watson, what’s the score?” chanted jubilant aides in the leader’s office). After withstanding a 16-day revolt, Corbyn appeared liberated by the prospect of a summer of campaigning. His confidence prefigured the outcome two months later.

Corbyn did not merely retain the leadership - he won by a greater margin than last time (with 61.8 per cent of the vote to last year's 59.5 per cent) and triumphed among all three sections: party members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters. The rebels had hoped to narrow his mandate and win among at least one group: they did neither. Far from being a curse for Corbyn, the contest proved to be a blessing. 

***

The day before the pivotal NEC meeting, Angela Eagle, who had been preparing to stand for months, launched her leadership bid. The former shadow business secretary was admired by MPs for her experience, tenacity, and economic acumen. Her trade union links and soft left background were further cited in favour of her candidacy.

But after an underwhelming launch, which clashed with Andrea Leadsom’s withdrawal from the Conservative contest (leaving Eagle calling questions from absent journalists), MPs gravitated towards Owen Smith.

Like Eagle, Smith hailed from the party’s soft left and had initially served under Corbyn (two prerequisites in the rebels’ eyes). But unlike her, the former shadow and work pensions secretary did not vote for the Iraq war (having entered parliament in 2010) or the 2015 Syria intervention. “It looks like the war party,” a senior Corbynite said of Eagle’s campaign launch with Hilary Benn. Many Labour MPs feared the same. With the left-leaning Lisa Nandy having ruled herself out, only the ambitious Smith met the criteria.

“I’d been in hospital for two days with my brother, who was unwell, in south Wales,” he recalled when I interviewed him.  “I came out having literally been in A&E at Cardiff Heath hospital for 29 hours, looking after him, to have my phone light up with 30, 40, 50 colleagues, MPs and members, ringing up saying ‘there’s going to be a contest, Angela Eagle has thrown her hat into the ring, you should do likewise.’ And at that point, on the Wednesday night, I started ringing people to test opinion and found that there was a huge amount of support for me.”

On 19 July, after Smith won 90 MP/MEP nominations to Eagle’s 72, the latter withdrew in favour of the Welshman. A week after the Conservatives achieved their second female prime minister, Labour’s 116-year record of all-male leaders endured. Though Smith vowed that Eagle would be “at my right hand throughout this contest”, she went on to appear at just one campaign event.

Corbyn’s challenger was embraced by MPs as a “clean skin”, untainted by service during the New Labour years. But Smith’s non-parliamentary past was swiftly - and ruthlessly - exploited by his opponents. His time at the US drugs firm Pfizer was cited as evidence of his closeness to big business. Corbyn’s supporters also seized on interviews given by Smith as a by-election candidate in 2006.

The man pitching to the left was found to have defended Tony Blair (suggesting that they differed only over the Iraq war), supported private sector involvement in the NHS and praised city academies. “I'm not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances,” he told Wales Online. Such lines were rapidly disseminated by Corbyn supporters through social media.

“Getting out early and framing Owen was crucial,” a Corbyn source told me. A Smith aide echoed this assessment: “It helped secure their base, it took a load of people out of contention.”

Throughout the campaign, Smith would struggle to reconcile his past stances with his increasingly left-wing programme: opposing private provision in the NHS, returning academy schools to local authority control, banning zero-hours contracts and imposing a wealth tax of 1 per cent. “It was easy for us to go for the jugular over his background when he portrayed himself as a left candidate,” a Corbyn source said.

Smith insisted that the charge of opportunism was unmerited. “To be honest, my opponents have extrapolated rather a lot in an attempt to brand me as a ‘Blairite wolf in sheep’s clothing,’” he told me in August. “Well, I’m nothing of the sort, I’ve always been a democratic socialist and I always will be.” He added: “I’m someone who’s been surrounded by people who’ve been on the left of the Labour movement all their lives. It should come as no surprise that I’ve come out of that background and I’m pretty red. Because I am.”

But a former shadow cabinet colleague said that Smith did not stand out as “a radical” in meetings. “The only time that I remember him becoming really animated was over further tax-raising powers for Scotland and the implications for Wales.”

As well as Smith’s ambiguous past, Corbyn’s allies believe the breadth of his political coalition hindered him from the start. “He was trying to bring together Blairites, Brownites and every other -ite in between,” a campaign source said. “That was never going to hold, we knew that and from the moment there were splits it was easy to point out.”

Jon Trickett, the shadow business secretary and one of Corbyn’s early supporters, told me: “They tried to pretend that there was no distinction between them and Jeremy on policy grounds, they tried to narrow down the areas of difference to electability. But, frankly, it didn’t seem credible since some of the people behind it were absolutely ideologically opposed to Jeremy. Peter Mandelson and people like that.”

A frequently expressed charge was that Smith’s left-wing pledges would be overturned by Blairite figures if he won. John McGeechan, a 22-year-old postgraduate student who joined Labour after “self-indulgent, self-serving MPs initiated their corridor coup”, told me of Smith: “He’s just another mealy-mouthed careerist who says whatever he thinks is going to get him elected. I don’t believe at all that he means what he says about creating a radical socialist government given that he’s got the backing of Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair, people who’ve disagreed with Corbyn on pretty much all his socialist policies. I don’t believe that he’s going to stand up to these people.”

Whether believable or not, Smith’s programme showed how Corbyn had shifted Labour’s centre of gravity radically leftwards - his original aim in June 2015.

***

On the night Corbyn made the leadership ballot, the rebels still found cause for hope. Unlike in 2015, the NEC imposed a freeze date of six months on voting (excluding 130,000 new members) and increased the registered supporter fee from £3 to £25 (while reducing the sign-up period to two days). “It’s game on!” a senior figure told me. By narrowing the selectorate, Corbyn’s opponents hoped to achieve a path to victory. With fewer registered supporters (84 per cent of whom voted for Corbyn last year), they believed full party members and affiliated trade unionists could carry Smith over the line.

But when 183,000 paid £25 to vote, their expectations were confounded. Far from being “game on”, it looked to many rebels like game over. Once again, Corbyn’s opponents had underestimated the left’s recruiting capacity. Smith’s lack of name recognition and undistinctive pitch meant he could not compete.

Alongside the main contest were increasingly fractious legal battles over voting rights. On 28 July, the high court rejected Labour donor Michael Foster’s challenge to Corbyn’s automatic inclusion on the ballot. Then on 8 August, a judge ruled that the party had wrongly excluded new members from voting, only for the decision to be overturned on appeal.

In the view of Corbyn’s allies, such legal manevoures unwittingly aided him. “They turned Jeremy, who was an incumbent, back into an insurgent,” Trickett told me. “The proponents of the challenge made it seem like he was the underdog being attacked by the establishment.”

Smith, who repeatedly framed himself as the “unity candidate”, struggled to escape the shadow of the “corridor coup”. That many of his supporters had never accepted Corbyn’s leadership rendered him guilty by association.

“The coup had an enormous galvanising effect and an enormous politicising effect,” a Corbyn source told me. “For a great number of people who supported Jeremy last year, there was a feeling, ‘well, we’ve done the work, that’s happened, now over to him.’ What the coup meant for a lot of people was that this isn’t about Jeremy Corbyn, this is a people’s movement, which we all need to lead.” The Corbyn campaign signed up 40,000 volunteers and raised £300,000 in small donations from 19,000 people (with an average donation of £16). Against this activist army, their rivals’ fledgling effort stood no chance.

“At the launch rally, we had 12 simultaneous events going on round the country, livestreamed to each other,” a Corbyn source said. “We had a lot of communication with people who were big in the Sanders campaign. In the UK context, it’s trailblazing.”

On 12 August, after previously equivocating, Smith ruled out returning to the shadow cabinet under Corbyn. “I've lost confidence in you. I will serve Labour on the backbenches,” he declared at a hustings in Gateshead. In the view of Corbyn’s team, it was a fatal error. “He shot apart his whole unity message,” a source said.

Smith, who initially offered Corbyn the post of party president, was rarely booed more than when he lamented Labour’s divisions. As one of the 172 MPs who voted against the leader, he was regarded as part of the problem, rather than the solution. By the end, Smith was reduced to insisting “I wasn’t in favour of there being a challenge” - a statement that appeared absurd to most.

As well as his leftist credentials and unifying abilities, Smith’s other main boast was his competence and articulacy. “HIs USP was that he was this media-savvy guy,” a Corbyn source said. “As a result, he threw himself up for any and every media opportunity and made tons of gaffes. We just made sure people were aware of them.”

The most enduring gaffe came early in the campaign, on 27 July, when he spoke of wanting mto “smash” Theresa May “back on her heels”. Though Smith initially defended his “robust rhetoric” (“you’ll be getting that from me”), by the afternoon his campaign had apologised. What was explained as a “rugby reference” dogged them for weeks. “It played into the hands of how Corbyn wanted to depict us,” a Smith source told me. “It was really hard to shake off.”

More unforced errors followed. Smith suggested getting Isis “round the table”, in anticipation, many believed, of Corbyn agreeing. But the Labour leader baulked at the proposal: “No, they are not going to be round the table”. Corbyn’s communications team, more organised and agile than in 2015, denounced Smith’s remarks as “hasty and ill-considered”. As with “smashed”, the Labour challenger had achieved rare cut-through - but for the wrong reasons.

Smith’s rhetorical looseness became a recurring problem. At a rally on 23 August, he appeared to refer to Corbyn as a “lunatic”. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, he said of meeting his wife: “1,200 boys, three girls and I pulled Liz. So I must have something going on. That must be leadership.”

Earlier in the campaign, Smith’s team denied that the candidate referred to the size of his penis when he quipped of his height: "5ft 6. 29 inches - inside leg!” The guffaws from his supporters suggested otherwise.

We used to have a gaffe counter,” a Corbyn source told me. “I think it got up to 30 by the end.”

Smith’s team, meanwhile, despaired at how the Labour leader’s own missteps failed to dent him. The discovery that Corbyn had in fact secured a seat on a Virgin train, contrary to initial impressions, did little lasting damage. “It’s priced in, the bar is much lower for him,” a Smith source complained.

Incorrect claims, such as Labour being level in the polls before the coup attempt and Corbyn giving 122 speeches during the EU referendum campaign, were believed by many of his supporters. “How do you rebut bullshit?” a Smith aide asked. “If you respond, it becomes a story.”

So frequently had Labour MPs condemned their leader that extraordinary charges were soon forgotten. On 22 August, shadow business minister Chi Onwurah wrote in the New Statesman that Corbyn’s treatment of her and Thangam Debbonaire could constitute “racial discrimination”.

If this had been any of my previous employers in the public and private sectors Jeremy might well have found himself before an industrial tribunal for constructive dismissal, probably with racial discrimination thrown in,” she argued. But within a day, the story had moved on.  

For Smith, fleeting momentum was achieved through significant endorsements. On 10 August, the GMB backed his campaign after becoming the only trade union to ballot its members. The following week, Labour’s most senior elected politician, Sadiq Khan, endorsed Smith. Unlike Andy Burnham, the London mayor believed he could not remain neutral during this profound schism. Smith was subsequently also backed by the Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale. Neil Kinnock and Ed Miliband trumpeted his cause. Yet such declarations counted for little. “It’s like the Remain campaign and the Archbishop of Canterbury,” one Smith ally told me, suggesting that Labour members, like Leave voters, ”weren’t listening” to such grandees.

But in the view of Corbyn’s team, the rebels profoundly “underestimated” their opponent. “He’s a nice guy but he also has an inner steel and won't flinch from a challenge. The Obi-Wan Kenobi comparison is very accurate when you work up close with him. He’s also extremely intelligent and has a great grasp and retention of detail. It showed in the debates.”

“I have to say, I felt pretty sorry for Owen at several points,” another Corbyn source reflected. “Whatever it was, his ambition or being pushed into it, it didn’t seem like it was the right time for him. He hadn’t worked out what he was about and why that fitted with the times.”

***

Those Labour MPs who long warned that an early challenge to Corbyn would prove futile have been vindicated. “Party members are always loyal to the incumbent,” a senior source astutely noted. In the case of Corbyn, a lifelong campaigner, who many contended was “never given a chance”, this traditional fealty was intensified.

“Most of the people backing and funding him didn’t think Owen was going to win,” a Corbyn source said. “Their aim was, one, to reduce Jeremy’s mandate and, secondly, to map the selectorate.”

Having won a second leadership contest - an unprecedented achievement for the Labour left - the leader’s supporters insist their ambitions do not end here. “We’ve got to think incredibly seriously about how we win a general election in a totally changed landscape,” a Corbyn source told me. “This campaign has been showing how to do it.” But a Smith aide warned that it was a “massive strategic error” to make electability, rather than principle, the defining test of Corbyn. The leader, he suggested, could withstand a general election defeat provided he simply affirmed his values.

Beyond regarding a split as worthless, Labour MPs are divided on how to proceed. Some want another leadership challenge as early as next year. Rather than seeking to narrow the selectorate, they speak of recruiting hundreds of thousands of new members to overpower the left. “There are lots of people out there who want a credible, electable, centre-left proposition and we have not given them enough of a reason to sign up,” a former shadow cabinet minister told me. “Who has an offer and the charisma to be able to bring in new people? That has to be the question the next time round.”

Others believe that backbenchers should follow Thumper’s law: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  A senior MP argued that MPs should “just shut up” and “let Jeremy crack on with it.” The imperative, he said, was to avoid MPs “taking the blame for us getting thumped in a snap election”. Some are prepared to move beyond neutrality to outright support by serving under Corbyn.

The Labour left and their most recalcitrant opponents both confront challenges of electability. The former must demonstrate a path to victory despite Corbyn’s subterranean poll ratings. The latter, who boast so often of their superior appeal, must face a remorseless truth. Until they are electable in the party, they will never be electable in the country.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.