With Tristram Hunt reported to be one of the Labour MPs on the list of targets for de-selection, the former shadow education secretary could do worse than to keep his head down. Unfortunately, a talk he recently gave to Cambridge University’s Labour Club — entitled ‘Principles, Politics and Pathway to Power’ — is only likely to heighten tensions.
Varsity, Cambridge’s weekly student newspaper, reports that during the talk, Hunt raised concerns that Labour would soon become an echo chamber and cease to be a major political party:
‘My fear is algorithmic politics [where because] everyone shares the same views as you on social media and in your social circles… you become a sect rather than a party.’
While Hunt did at least admit that Corbyn is ‘the leader until he’s not’, he does seem to have a plan in mind for when the current leader exits the stage. According to Varsity, Hunt told the students that in terms of intellect, they were ‘the top one per cent’ and it was their responsibility to help save the Labour party which is ‘in the sh–‘ after their defeat in the general election.
‘You are the top one per cent. The Labour Party is in the shit. It is your job and your responsibility to take leadership going forward.’
With Mr S’s colleague Harry Mount writing in The Spectator last month that Corbyn had purged his front bench of Oxbridge intellectuals, Mr S suspects that his words are unlikely to go down well at Labour HQ.
Update: Hunt has released a statement regarding his comments to the students at Cambridge University:
‘My message to the students at Cambridge was clear: Labour has a mountain to climb if we are to recover from our defeat in May, and as the next generation of Labour activists they are absolutely central to our efforts to renew.
I am confident that – with the support of committed Labour activists from across the country, and from all walks of life – we can build a strong, credible and forward-looking movement that promotes the interests of the many, not the few.’