Footage has emerged appearing to show Clive Lewis receiving orders to cut a major line from his speech minutes before delivering it at Labour’s party conference.
The shadow defence secretary was filmed by ITV on stage checking his phone before clasping his hands together in concentration.
Some speculated it could show the moment Lewis discovered Jeremy Corbyn’s office intervened to cut a line from his speech that would keep open the possibility for Labour to dump Trident. The last-minute change was revealed by The Huffington Post UK earlier on Monday.
Lewis had planned to say that he would not try to change official party policy on the nuclear deterrent, which is to the , because it was crucial to defence workers’ jobs. But the line was cut minutes before his keynote address.
He was allowed to say instead that he backed trade union defence workers and to pay tribute to Unite the union for its support.
But Carl Dinnen, ITV’s political correspondent, released video of Lewis moments before he was due to speak and wrote:
Chris Ship, ITV’s deputy political editor, also speculated that Lewis was “not too happy with the edits Seamus Milne [Corbyn’s director of communications] had made to his speech - minutes before he delivered it”.
Ship also posted a longer version of the clip, writing: “That sequence when we think @LabourLewis got his script changes from Team Corbyn re: Trident, moments before he delivered the speech.”
While BuzzFeed’s Jim Waterson echoed the possibility.
Others reacted more comically to Lewis’ response to checking his phone.
While one person offered an entirely innocent suggestion.