— TSE (@TSEofPB) February 4, 2017
If Corbyn’s losing the support of Diane Abbott then can the last Corbynite left please switch off the lights.
Perhaps I’m being overly dramatic, but if Corbyn’s losing the support of Diane Abbott, and she does leave the Shadow Cabinet over this, then a Rubicon will have been crossed for the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. She’s always been one of his most passionate supporters, so much so that back in September 2015 Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, ended up telling Diane Abbott to ‘Fuck off’ after Diane Abbott had defended Jeremy Corbyn from criticisms by Jess Phillips.
But today’s Observer reports ‘Diane Abbott’s future in the shadow cabinet was in doubt on Saturday night after she failed to guarantee that she would vote to trigger Brexit negotiations in the Commons this week.’
One of the major assumptions of my betting strategy has been that Corbyn will be Labour leader until the next general election, now that assumption might be flawed. There are a few betting markets up on Corbyn’s departure date, I don’t think there’s any value in backing the 2/1 on Corbyn going in 2017 that William Hill have, but others might disagree.
If it does look like Corbyn might go, Mrs May might decide to hold an early election before Corbyn goes, the intricacies of the Fixed Term Parliament Act notwithstanding, again there’s probably no value in backing the 2/1 currently available on a 2017 general election.
There’s a great irony here, if Corbyn is toppled over his support for enabling Brexit, then he would be toppled over one of the few issues a majority of voters support him and his policies.
Diane Abbott’s migraine might well out turn out to be as important as John Major’s dental problems during the Tory leadership contest of 1990 that saw Mrs Thatcher toppled as Tory leader and Prime Minister.