The Interview Answer Jeremy Corbyn Can’t Give (But Probably Wants To).

Interviewer: So how did you feel when three quarters of your MPs voted no confidence in you.

Jeremy Corbyn: I was not in the least bit surprised. If anything I was relieved it wasn’t more. Not because I am incompetent…or at least no more incompetent than anyone with no prior experience of leadership, who has suddenly been catapulted into a major leadership role. Of course I’ve made mistakes, and I’m willing to learn from them. But it wasn’t a question of incompetence that drove MPs to lose confidence in me. They were never willing to give me a chance from the get go. They campaigned and voted for other candidates in 2015…and couldn’t reconcile themselves to my sudden rise to power. I was on the fringes of the party for thirty years, and that’s where I was expected to stay. My victory was not in the script and they were shocked and horrified by this sudden plot twist.


Some argue that those on the soft left had been open to giving me a chance, as a way of giving credence to the coup, but that was not my experience. Our four parliamentary by-election victories were underplayed by all wings of the party. As were the mayoralty wins. The London mayoralty was the only victory trumpeted as a great success, and that was only because my 172 detractors seized the opportunity to hail it as a win for triangulation style centrism, rather than my brand of socialism. Had Sadiq been a Corbyn supporter, and still won, the win would have been attributed to the shoddy, dog whistle campaign ran against him.

The 8% swing to Labour in the Local elections from the 2015 General Election result was similarly underplayed, or worse, spun as a catastrophe by all wings of the party. And it was all wings of the party who sat in stony cold silence every time I stood up at the despatch box. I did not lose their support. I never had it, and couldn’t break through the intractable hostility against my leadership, to acquire it. Knowing the coup was inevitable, most MPs saw me as the dead leader walking, convinced I would resign when the coup was eventually enacted.

One final point I’d like to make. Only 20 MPs supported my candidacy to be leader in 2015. To reach the all important 35 needed to get on the ballot, 15 MPs had to lend me their support. Yet 40 MPs voted confidence in my leadership this June; an increase of 100%. Now we have got the second leadership election in a year out of the way, I hope even more MPs will be prepared to accept, and even embrace my leadership; an acceptance I can understand them initially struggling to reach when they were looking on it as a temporary blip, before the resumption of normal service.

So to go back to your original question. I would have much preferred this Summer to never have happened, but seeing as I always knew it was coming, I almost feel a sense of relief it’s out of the way.

Now I hope we can at last unite to fight the Tories.


by Chelley Ryan

feature meme via Jenny King


  1. 3bbooks · September 27, 2016

    Theyre never going to reunite. Tory-lite will go on and on until they either oust him or fail and form their own party just before next election leaving labour in tatters. Best accept that and deselect now then they can all form sdp2


  2. pointis · September 27, 2016

    It is a credit to Jeremy that he withstood the intolerable and incessant abuse from those he should have been able to demand loyalty from and never flinched when others would have crumbled. Many times he must have felt lonely and isolated from his supporters when he stood at the dispatch box and took humiliating abuse from those behind him. Jeremy is more a man than any of those that would skulk of to the newspapers or to progress meetings to pour ridicule on the man and plot to engineer his downfall. We have news for you, the hoof beats of the Calvary can already be heard and let’s be assured they will arrive.

    Well written piece as usual Chelley.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shelley hutchings · September 28, 2016

    You hit the nail on the head. Beautiful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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