Ever since the election result, Labour moderates have attempted to put on a brave face when it comes to their feelings about Jeremy Corbyn. After ruling him out as an electoral catastrophe, they now have to work out if their former issues with the man can be put to one side for the good of the party.
So, Mr S suspects Tom Watson won’t be overly delighted to hear that an account of his own team’s inner struggles has made its way to The New European. In an interview with Labour backer Steve Coogan, the comedian said his daughter spent much of the campaign helping Labour’s deputy leader in the Midlands. However, she kept calling Coogan to complain that the majority of the group ‘seemed to hate Jeremy’:
‘There were only two people who were pro-Corbyn in the whole campaign team. Others seemed to hate Jeremy and they were saying scornful things.’
On election night, the balance of power shifted:
‘As the election results came in, she saw her loyalty and determination had paid off . . . The faces of the anti-Corbyn brigade were the epitome of mixed feelings.’
Happily, Watson swiftly issued an apology on behalf of his team:
‘The best part of the whole campaign for her was that Tom Watson was just about to go off to do his speech at his constituency count. In front of all the other campaigners, he turned and saw that Clare was smiling. He stopped. He made everyone listen and said, “Clare, I just want to say, you were right and everyone else was wrong”.’
But with talk that a new ‘co-deputy leader’ position could be created, is it a case of ‘too little, too late’?