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18 December 2016

Did Jeremy Corbyn “walk out“ of Labour Christmas party where MPs sung Tony Blair’s election anthem?

Reports alleged that the party's karaoke playlist was used to poke fun at the Labour leader.

By media mole

Festive cheer was apparently lacking at the Labour Christmas party. Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, reportedly left the karaoke bash after ministers started singing “Things Can Only Get Better” and chanting about Tony Blair.

A report of the boozy sing-song in the Mail on Sunday alleged that Corbyn walked out with his shadow chancellor John McDonnell, shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti and Richard Burgon.

Also on the rebellious MP’s playlist were Madonna’s classic hit “Like a Virgin” — a nod to the Virgin trains incident when Corbyn claimed there were no seats and was filmed sitting on the floor, and The Beatles “Back in the USSR” — a presumed dig at him for failing to take a tougher stance against Russia’s bombing of Aleppo in Syria.

Sixty MPs attended the Christmas party at the Westminster Kitchen bar and grill, owned by Kurdish-born Ibrahim Dogus, a longstanding Labour supporter. The party went on till midnight and the food and drink bill came to more than £3,000.

A spokesman for the Labour leader denied reports of the walkout, telling the Daily Mirror: “Jeremy enjoyed the PLP Christmas party on Tuesday which was one of several engagements that evening.”

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And Jess Phillips MP, who also sang at the party, tweeted her own clarification asserting: “Can I just say as someone who was there this did not happen.”