14 Sep 2015

Jeremy Corbyn: chilly reception at PLP

The new Labour leader was greeted with silence when he arrived to address Labour MPs: 93 per centĀ of them didn’t vote for him and the silence conveyed the warmth.

In questions the MPs asked if Jeremy Corbyn would wear a normal poppy or a white poppy. He explained at some length why he thought white poppies were an important symbol for some people.

At the end of this lengthy answer he said, with regard to the Cenotaph ceremony on Armistice Day, that he’d been to commemorations in the past but “I’m not sure what’ll happen this year.”

Grumbling anger percolated round the room and though one MP said the meeting generally went as well as it could, that was a point of real tension.

Tomorrow the Labour leader will attend the Battle of Britain memorial but there is word he originally wanted to send Tom Watson to represent the party and had to be persuaded to change his plans.

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19 reader comments

  1. Irene Short says:

    The PLP should be very careful before they show disdain for the democratic process which delivered an unquestionable mandate to Jeremy Corby. The Prime Minister amplified by a vicious press has insulted the democratic process with defamatory remarks about the Leader of the Opposition. PLP should rise above his example and be part of a team fighting for decent public services and a fairer deal for the many, by delivering the ferocious opposition Cameron so richly deserves

    1. James says:

      The MPs were elected by a far more representative electorate than the one that just installed Corbyn. And they’ll be trying to get re-elected in 2020, too, when Jeremy is pretty safe in Islington North. They have every right to express their concerns, and those of their constituents, who are of every political stripe.

  2. Dr David Hill says:

    A colour does not change the feelings that people have in their hearts.

    For it is about time that MPs got serious with the very serious issues that face the people of the United Kingdom in the future. Our economy for instances is on a road to nowhere currently and if things do not change with our massive negative balance-of-payments and debt, the nation will stop to earn enough to survive over the next quarter-of-a-century.

    For Corbyn has to create the environment where the UK moves to a high technology economy and not be beholden to service industries like the ‘City’ which holds the nation back, as he has stated prior to his election as Labour Party Leader.

    ‘Corbyn has to Succeed for the long-term ‘Good’ of the ‘Majority of the British People (up to 90%) and when he becomes Prime Minister, he must Build an Economy based upon High-Technology unlike what Blair did, who put most of his Eggs in the ‘City’ Basket and where his thinking in reality ‘Failed’ the People and the Nation in the long-term’ – http://worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/corbyn-has-to-succeed-for-long-term.html

    Indeed if we do not move to a hi-tech research and development manufacturing nation, our service industries will fail us as a nation over the next quarter-of-a-century and where these service industries (including financial) are exported to the lower labour cost economies with the similar standard of education and knowledge. For this great threat is growing by the year, based upon global education trends and economic growth statistics analysing both manufacturing and service industries worldwide. Time for great change and Corbyn may have come at the right time if he is true to his word?

  3. Philip says:

    It’d be nice to think that Labour MPs understood the meaning of democracy. They need to stop sulking & whingeing and get behind the new leadership. At present all they are doing is providing ammunition for their opponents. Their behaviour guarantees that Labour won’t win the next election. Their strongest supporters have spoken. They need grow up.

  4. Richard Chan says:

    i have been a Labour supporter for 35 years but I am impressed with Mr Jeremy Corbyn. Just give him a chance , what have we got to lose ? Blair Bown had done nothing for the working class. My ‘O’ level history shows me that when the wealth gap widens to a point , revolution will come , ( China , Russia etc etc ) . Time for a change !!!!!

  5. Anya Darr says:

    They would do well to look to the overwhelming support this man has form the membership and how many people are now flocking back to join. Their overweening arrogance in this matter just shows how badly out of touch the current PLP is.!! They might not support him but we do and we will now be going to every CLP in the land and making sure that democracy within our party is alive and well and being listened to! Time MPs learned they work for us!

  6. Andy Coombes says:

    So give us names – we need to discuss democracy and accountability with them.
    I suspect the wider membership is in no mood for being sold out.

  7. Cynthia Lloyd says:

    Corbyn was elected by the people on a large mandate. If the PLP don’t accept this they may just find their party dead in the water for the next 10 years

  8. Sarah Walker says:

    This should be headlined “Grumbling Labour MPs are sore losers, don’t know the meaning of the word ‘mandate’, are prepared to do the Tories’ talking points for them.”

    A majority of members, supporters and affiliates voted for Corbyn as first choice.

    Either the Parliamentary Labour Party believes what it has signed up to in Clause Four (“a democratic socialist party”) or it doesn’t.

  9. george says:

    Perhaps another media slander against Corbyn. Trying to make out he is not popular.

  10. Philip Edwards says:


    Here’s another thought.

    This piece implies 93% of MPs didn’t welcome Jeremy Corbyn.

    Okay. Assume that’s true……That means roughly 219 individual members of the Labour Party.

    But Corbyn was voted FOR by 251,417 individual members of the Labour Party. That is, 59.5% of valid votes.

    Which means the 219 got wiped out and can now go off and sulk, or join their natural allies the tories.

    Me, I’ve laughed me socks down. God knows New Labour had it coming.

    Meanwhile that ally of New Labour, the Sun, has got even more hysterical by accusing Corbyn of anti-semitism. If it gets any more desperate its hack employees will be throwing themselves into the brown water of the Thames….with a bit of luck never to resurface.

  11. Petra says:

    Another arrogant piece from a hostile media hack.
    28,000 new members joined the Labour Party over the weekend alone and they joined because Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party. He is the rightful leader and has a wealth of experience to bring to the post. These sulky, disgruntled MPs need to bow to the wishes of the ordinary party members who voted for Jeremy Corbyn. They are yesterday’s people and need to shape up or ship out.

  12. Brian says:

    All the poverty around the ‘UK’, and all the Blairites care about is the colour of his poppy at the Cenotaph. That says it all, frankly.

  13. christopher says:

    This piece is confusing and unhelpful. I have never voted Labour and voted Green at the General Election. Corbyn’s victory at last gives hope for a way out from the expensive, dishonest agreement to disagree amongst mainstream politicians – Labour and Conservative. I voted for Corbyn and see him as such a refreshing change. At last I can vote Labour. I’m 65. We need real change. And the media need to catch up.

  14. Suzanne says:

    If this report is true, and if it was a very chilly reception from the PLP, those MPs are saying they do not respect the wishes of the Labour membership. They should think about their places within the Labour party. Those members, old and faithful to Labour ideals and new members eager for radical opposition to the Tories, voted for Corbyn, and they expect to see their MPs either support the Labour leader or they will find other MPs who do represent their demand for change in the next election. And that will be the fault of no-one but these sour-faced, wasp-chewing bad losers.

    I’m not even a Labour voter or member, and I think their behaviour is childish and spiteful.

  15. Deborah Taylor says:

    The PLP need to show respect for the wishes of the party. There are now well over 30,000 new members and I strongly doubt that any of the other candidates could have generated the kind of support and interest as Jeremy Corbyn. They need to remember that none of them are bigger than the party itself and the power dynamics between the PLP and the constituent members has altered. I have written to my own MP urging her to offer her full support to the new Leader. Others with Labour MPs could do the same. It might make a difference. The Labour Party need to unite and support each other to ensure we can all build a better society.

  16. DaveB says:

    “Corbyn has been democratically elected”. Well, technically yes. But who exactly constitutes the Labour membership? Under Milliband’s newly introduced membership system, I rather suspect there has been a massive ramp-up in “members” who lean towards the Socialist Workers Party. In short, it seems to me that the Labour Party has been hijacked.

  17. Steve says:

    MPs might argue that they are elected by their constituencies and have a primary duty to fulfil the mandate they were given at the election rather than the group they affiliate with whilst at Westminster. MPs are first and foremost elected as individuals. They then frequently form into groups of broadly similar values “party” in order to bring coherence.

  18. Pete Marchetto says:

    Not for the first time, I’m struck by the difference between a journalistic piece on Corbyn when compared with the comments that follow. This ‘London bubble’ effect seems to extend throughout the media, and into areas I’d rather not see it such as in this instance. The Daily Mail is one thing but please, not here.

    Corbyn’s views largely reflect that of a wide sector of the electorate according to polls I’ve seen, from nuclear disarmament, through the re-nationalisation of the railways, and on to not getting involved with Syria. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I’m not blind to the fact that many do. And yet, for some reason, the press and the PLP continue to talk as if this is a man operating at the lunatic fringes of political thought as if the electorate somehow counts for nothing.

    With all the confusion surrounding the result of the 2015 election, why has no one thought to ask any voter? I can tell you exactly why it was that I voted for the Green Party, the first time I’ve ever moved away from Labour or the LibDems. I can also tell you why I will vote Labour next election if – and only if – Corbyn is their leader along with many another voter that Labour lost in 2015 when support counted.

    Would someone care to ask me, or millions of others? Or is the narrative to continue coming out of private chats between the media and the PLP?

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