All pretences of a united Labour have been dispelled with an unexpected standup routine by Tristram Hunt.
Speaking at the Progress rally at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool on Sunday night, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central fired off a series of gaffes aimed squarely at his recently reelected leader.
He began with a reference to the venue and its political history.
“We’re in Liverpool where Labour was once upon a time held hostage by a far left faction that sent it spiralling towards election defeat, and I’m glad we out that in the past behind us. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m glad we’ve got our party back.
“I’m glad we’ve finally got a proper socialist leader, willing to confront fascism wherever he sees it — Assad, Syria or Putin’s Russia.
“Who’s happy to have an open political discussion and not seek to silence internal debate by putting MPs on hit lists. An thankfully, an end to the kind of irrational leadership cult that so disfigured our party in the past.”
Then he took a swipe at Momentum, the grass-roots movement behind Corbyn.
“Now I understand that our friends at Momentum are having their own conference this week, but I also understand it’s not easy to get too. In fact you have to go via the Liberal Democrats, the Tories and then the Green Party.
Next up in the firing line was the movement’s James Schneider, referencing the fact he supported the Tories 10 years ago.
“James Schneider, ay? The only person to make Andy Burnham’s political odyssey look straightforward.”
Reaction to the gags was a bit of a mixed bag.