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Corbyn refuses to back EU membership at muted PLP meeting

Labour leader did not receive the traditional welcome for a newly-elected head.

There was none of the desk-banging that one might expect a newly-elected Labour leader to be greeted with when Jeremy Corbyn addressed the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) for the first time tonight. Instead, Corbyn was greeted by a painful silence. This, of course, is unsurprising. Though he won the leadership election by a landslide (59.9 per cent), Corbyn did so with the support of just 14 MPs. The best that he could manage was some moderate applause when he praised Harriet Harman, Ed Miliband and the defeated candidates.

The most notable moment came when Corbyn was asked about EU membership and refused to guarantee to campaign to stay in. This contradicts shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn's earlier assertion on the Today programme that "We will be campaigning to remain in the European Union in all circumstances." Corbyn said he had concerns over the UK's commitment to the social chapter and the working time directive and did not want to give David Cameron a "blank cheque" during his renegotiation. Asked whether he would wear a poppy for Remembrance Day, Corbyn said he attended memorial events in his constituency and noted that some choose to pay respect by wearing a white poppy (suggesting he may do so). 

He also announced that the party had gained 28,000 full members since he took over, and declared that his three priorities would be housing, next May's elections in Wales and Scotland, and securing a Labour government in 2020. He pledged that he and Tom Watson would spend at least a day a month in Scotland in the run-up to the Holyrood contest (which seems rather on the low side). Corbyn also reinforced his commitment not to back the return of mandatory reselection, which some on the left hope to use to purge his opponents. But the Tories' coming boundary changes could mean many MPs automatically face selection battles. 

As before, Corbyn emphasised his desire to "debate" the most contentious issues, such as Trident and Nato, and there were few unambiguously hostile questions. But it is clear from tonight's reception that backbenchers are not going to suddenly embrace his leadership - he is on probation. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Donald Trump tweets he is “saddened” – but not about the earthquake in Mexico

Barack Obama and Jeremy Corbyn sent messages of sympathy to Mexico. 

A devastating earthquake in Mexico has killed at least 217 people, with rescue efforts still going on. School children are among the dead.

Around the world, politicians have been quick to offer their sympathy, not least Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose wife hails from Mexico. He tweeted: "My thoughts are with all those affected by today's earthquake in Mexico. Pensando en todos los afectados por el terremoto en México hoy" in the early hours of the morning, UK time.

Barack Obama may no longer be an elected politician, but he too offered a heartfelt message to those suffering, and like Corbyn, he wrote some of it in Spanish. "Thinking about our neighbors in Mexico and all our Mexican-American friends tonight. Cuidense mucho y un fuerte abrazo para todos," he tweeted. 

But what about the man now installed in the White House, Donald Trump? The Wall Builder-in-Chief was not idle on Tuesday night - in fact, he shared a message to the world via Twitter an hour after Obama. He too was "saddened" by what he had heard on Tuesday evening, news that he dubbed "the worst ever".

Yes, that's right. The Emmys viewing figures.

"I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night - the worst ever," he tweeted. "Smartest people of them all are the "DEPLORABLES."

No doubt Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto will get round to offering the United States his commiserations soon. 

I'm a mole, innit.