Election Daily: Corbyn at manifesto launch

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IN OR OUT

ISLINGTON’S Labour Party has now released its council election manifesto too. It’s ‘Fairer, safer, greener’, as you asked.

The launch event perhaps underlined how Sir Keir Starmer is going to have to do one thing or the other when it comes to the man he succeeded as leader.

The unresolved issue of Jeremy Corbyn’s status within the party lingers on and on (and on), and so we had a situation where the Islington North MP isn’t allowed to have the parliamentary whip but is one of the key speakers at the party’s manifesto unveiling with candidates.

His speech led to whoops and cheers; it was clear he particularly liked the part of the proposals which pledged to get fast broadband to as many people as possible to bridge the digital divided; an idea he was given much flak about with when he was leader.

As ever, there are two camps on Corbyn’s future in the party and when Mr Starmer suggested that he would not be able to stand as a Labour MP again earlier this year, there was internet whoops from those agree.

Certainly it’s hard to see how if this was Camden, some of our local candidates who made It through the interview process would not have wanted him at their manifesto launch. The passing of time does not seem to reduce the vehemence towards him.

Mr Starmer said he had had not even spoken to Mr Corbyn for a year when he did interviews a few weeks ago. So the issue just hangs there. Never resolved. Not, perhaps, until somebody on the Starmer side agrees to stand for  Labour in Islington North.

Funnily enough, the age old joke has been that there will be a ‘queue round the block’ of potential candidates ready for when Corbyn goes. That was always on the basis that he could at some stage think about retirement and the fact it is one of Labou’s safest seats in the country,

There won’t necessarily be the same queue if the role means standing for Labour, but against Mr Corbyn, especially given how enough local members still very much wanted him to be on the stage and in the photographs this week ahead of the council elections.

Years on, the late Frank Dobson hardly ever wanted to talk about how bloody the misadventure of 2000 London mayoralty contest had been.

*Anna Lamche reports on the manifesto launch in tomorrow’s Islington Tribune

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