Although Cabinet Ministers are said to be on strict instructions to refrain from insulting or mocking Jeremy Corbyn in their conference speeches, the Chancellor of the Exchequer couldn’t resist taking a dig at the Labour leader on Monday night.
As Corbyn was speaking to a packed crowd of protesters across town, Osborne found room in his speech at the Enterprise Forum Business Reception to make a joke at the expense of the Labour leader over his appearance at the fringe protest event. At first, Osborne appeared to compliment Labour in his speech, praising the party for working out that they were not pro-business enough in the last election:
‘What was of course interesting about the result is that the Labour party very correctly and very quickly identified as one of their biggest problems that they hadn’t been very pro-business and they hadn’t been very pro-enterprise and that had been a big mistake.’
Alas Osborne couldn’t resisting sticking the knife in. He pointed out that this was only a brief period of enlightenment given that they had since appointed Corbyn as leader, adding that he will remain on the fringes for some time:
‘Thankfully from our point of view they immediately forgot that lesson and elected Jeremy Corbyn as their leader and he’s speaking somewhere else in Manchester, at a fringe meeting, and I’m sure that’s where he’s going to remain.’
While Osborne may scoff at Corbyn’s appearance at the postal service rally, he would do well to note that the Labour leader has received a far warmer welcome to his Northern Powerhouse than the Tories have.
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) October 5, 2015