News has broken of a series of resignations at Labour’s ‘Southside’ – or ‘Darkside’ to its critics – HQ ahead of the appointment of a new General Secretary by the party’s NEC (National Executive Committee) tomorrow. Unite’s Jennie Formby is strong favourite to take the post, but both shortlisted candidates are from the party’s left.
The usual ‘moderate’ sources have tried to portray this as a disaster for the party:
However, many Labour members blame Southside’s negative approach to last year’s General Election campaign for the fact that Labour is not now in government.
Members and supporters around the country have not forgiven the mass suspensions and expulsions on largely spurious grounds during the 2016 challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – and those in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell will not miss Tom Watson ally John Stolliday or others whom they accuse of ignoring numerous complaints about the behaviour of influential Labour figures.
Former Corbyn staffer Matt Zarb-Cousin represented their take on the matter neatly:
But in a world exclusive, the SKWAWKBOX brings you unverified but candid footage from around the Labour Party as the news broke. Corbyn aides Amy Jackson and Andrew Murray took the news of the resignations in their stride:
Jeremy Corbyn was said to be devastated by the resignations of decades of experience:
Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, could barely contain her shock:
Jennie Formby, the favourite to take over as General Secretary tomorrow, expressed her sadness at the departures and said she was getting ready to meet her remaining team if she was appointed:
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was tight-lipped, but his body-language suggested he was able to deal with the developments with equanimity:
Not everyone seemed upset at the news. Labour Communications Director Seumas Milne was tight-lipped but used sign language to, well, communicate his verdict:
Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon seemed keen to close an uncomfortable chapter in Labour’s history and to look forward:
While front-bencher Clive Lewis took a moment for sober reflection as he arrived home to begin his paternity leave:
On the opposite wing of the party, centrists took the news especially hard. Labour First’s Luke Akehurst seemed tempted to shoot the messenger:
But when he ran to tell Birmingham MP Jess Phillips, he was almost on the receiving end:
One London MP, caught at the exact moment she received the news, appeared to be struggling to process the information. The SKWAWKBOX has been unable to confirm that the footage was captured at a music industry event or that her unnerved companion was a Conservative MP:
Fellow centrist Wes Streeting, who dashed across London to say farewell to departing allies, showed unalloyed grief:
But around the country, Labour members took a moment to consider how the party will cope with such a loss of talent, then simply shrugged, rolled up their sleeves and continued preparing for the task of getting Labour into council seats and, ultimately, government:
[We shouldn’t need to say this, but based on experience we do: this is SATIRE!].
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