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Liam Fox denies sending tweet – sitting in front of giant picture of said tweet

“I didn’t send that tweet.”

The disgraced former defence secretary Liam Fox has yet again proven that he doesn’t really know what he’s doing at the top of British politics.

In one of the most stark and delicious live TV gaffes executed by a useless Tory cabinet secretary since Jeremy Hunt lost his bell end, Fox denied sending a tweet he was charged with sending by Sky News’ Sophy Ridge. While sitting in front of a giant screen displaying said tweet.

Watch it here:

“You said, ‘the UK is one of the few countries in the EU that doesn’t need to bury its 20th century history,” Ridge said, gearing up for a question about how inappropriate and offensive comparisons of Brexit to World War II Europe are, especially from ministers. “Now, we often talk about Boris Johnson…”

But, ever sharp, the inexplicable International Trade Secretary dived in: “Just a point of clarification, I didn’t send that tweet.”

With a little triumphant grin and an accusatory pointing finger, he continued: “Number two, it was taken from a speech I made about a year and a half ago it was tweeted out by I think the Guardian, and it was an incomplete reference in any case…”

Sadly for Fox, his little lie on live TV was very much busted by the screen behind him, a triumphant enormous screengrab of, yes, Dr Liam Fox MP (complete with blue tick), sending that very tweet:

I'm a mole, innit.

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Will Jeremy Corbyn stand down if Labour loses the general election?

Defeat at the polls might not be the end of Corbyn’s leadership.

The latest polls suggest that Labour is headed for heavy defeat in the June general election. Usually a general election loss would be the trigger for a leader to quit: Michael Foot, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband all stood down after their first defeat, although Neil Kinnock saw out two losses before resigning in 1992.

It’s possible, if unlikely, that Corbyn could become prime minister. If that prospect doesn’t materialise, however, the question is: will Corbyn follow the majority of his predecessors and resign, or will he hang on in office?

Will Corbyn stand down? The rules

There is no formal process for the parliamentary Labour party to oust its leader, as it discovered in the 2016 leadership challenge. Even after a majority of his MPs had voted no confidence in him, Corbyn stayed on, ultimately winning his second leadership contest after it was decided that the current leader should be automatically included on the ballot.

This year’s conference will vote on to reform the leadership selection process that would make it easier for a left-wing candidate to get on the ballot (nicknamed the “McDonnell amendment” by centrists): Corbyn could be waiting for this motion to pass before he resigns.

Will Corbyn stand down? The membership

Corbyn’s support in the membership is still strong. Without an equally compelling candidate to put before the party, Corbyn’s opponents in the PLP are unlikely to initiate another leadership battle they’re likely to lose.

That said, a general election loss could change that. Polling from March suggests that half of Labour members wanted Corbyn to stand down either immediately or before the general election.

Will Corbyn stand down? The rumours

Sources close to Corbyn have said that he might not stand down, even if he leads Labour to a crushing defeat this June. They mention Kinnock’s survival after the 1987 general election as a precedent (although at the 1987 election, Labour did gain seats).

Will Corbyn stand down? The verdict

Given his struggles to manage his own MPs and the example of other leaders, it would be remarkable if Corbyn did not stand down should Labour lose the general election. However, staying on after a vote of no-confidence in 2016 was also remarkable, and the mooted changes to the leadership election process give him a reason to hold on until September in order to secure a left-wing succession.

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