Last summer as Corbyn-mania swept the country, the MP for Islington North’s appeal proved so far-reaching that even his ex-wife had high praise for him. Ahead of the election result, Professor Jane Chapman — who was married to the Labour leader between 1974 and 1979 — told the Daily Mail that her former husband had her vote as he had ‘really shaken politics in this country’ — pulling in bigger crowds than Tony Blair.
Alas, what a difference a year makes. Today Corbyn’s first wife has appeared on 5 Live to announce that she voted for Owen Smith rather than Corbyn. Explaining her decision to Emma Barnett, she credited Smith’s youth and desire to win an election as she said she was ‘saddened and upset’ by the state of the Labour party:
‘Last time I voted for Jeremy out of personal loyalty… but it’s been such a painful sideshow this last year. Owen’s policies are also radical and that’s good, so I don’t think there’s much difference in policies, but there’s more difference in flexibility and media ability.’
With Smith all but conceding defeat today ahead of Saturday’s Labour leadership race, he can find comfort in managing to sway at least one voter.