Jeremy Corbyn has dealt a damaging blow to the Labour Party by his questioning of the Government’s conviction that Russia and Putin was to blame for the nerve gas attack on an out-of-favour compatriot of his, and his daughter in Salisbury.
His words in the Commons were greeted with scarcely-disguised fury by Conservative MPs and by clear noises of dissent from some Labour backbenchers, appalled at their leader’s attitude, which some saw as unpatriotic.
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, performed an impressive act of political contortion by saying he agreed with Theresa May’s assertion that Russia was behind this attack, and at the same time he defended Corbyn by insisting that the leader was merely doing what a responsible Opposition should do, in challenging the Government.
Corbyn is now well ensconced in the Labour leadership. Two attempts to dump him failed miserably.
Even so, Labour MPs now have a duty to declare war on Corbyn and to demonstrate to him that his attitude towards this event is out of order. If they want to save the Labour Party from the depredations of the left-wing Momentum movement, they must let Corbyn know that they have had more than they can stomach of hard-left activities.
Some have even talked of setting up a rival party, as happened with the creation of the short-lived SDP in the early 1980s. If Corbyn was confronted with this kind of threat, it might wake him up to the fact that many of his backbenchers now mean business, and that the party’s future could be at serious risk unless he changes course.
- Whatever does John Bercow think he is doing with a ‘B******s to Brexit’ sticker on the car he uses? This would seem to be a flagrant breach of the convention that the Speaker remains totally impartial at all times. I would have thought that those MPs, who would like to see the back of him, now have more than enough evidence to oust him from the chair. But none of them so far has dared to take that final crucial step which would do the trick.