HAMPSTEAD and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq, who has been mildly goaded about her apparent non-committal stance on this summer’s Labour leadership contest, popped up on Radio 4’s World At One this afternoon and explained that she was “leaning towards” supporting Owen Smith over Jeremy Corbyn. She told Martha Kearney that it was “absurd” to blame Corbyn for the Brexit vote in June’s EU referendum, but added: “The truth is if you can’t command a parliamentary mandate then something needs to be done. I’ll be honest and say I actually nominated Angela Eagle. I’m at that point now that whether Jeremy or Owen wins, I’ll unite behind them – but the person I really wanted was Angela.”
Asked whether she was now supporting Smith, with Eagle now long withdrawn from the contest, she added: “I am leaning towards Owen Smith… I just worry Jeremy doesn’t have the confidence of the parliamentary Labour party any more, and if you don’t have the confidence then you can’t form a proper shadow cabinet.”
But she added that she still had “no regrets” about being one of the MPs who helped Corbyn get on the leadership contest ballot paper in the first place last year by supporting him with her parliamentary nomination even though she wanted Andy Burnham to take over after Ed Miliband’s post-election resignation. “What we needed to do was broaden the debate at the time,” she said once more.