In a extraordinary 1am phone call, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has sacked his Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Hilary Benn.
It had been reported a few hours earlier that Benn had been canvassing fellow shadow cabinet members about an immediate coup against Corbyn. It’s understood that the majority of the shadow cabinet want Corbyn gone and that some were considering resigning their posts if Corbyn could not be convinced to quit.
Corbyn confidant John McDonnell is set to run as the candidate for the left, should the Labour leader stand down. He will almost certainly face Benn, whose speech on the Syrian intervention was widely regarded as the best piece of rhetoric heard in Parliament in years.
It is looking more and more likely that Corbyn will not see out the week. The possibility of an early election has emboldened his opponents in caucus, who fear losing even more heavily against a Boris Johnson led Tory Party.
It will be a shame if Corbyn goes, but he hasn’t steadied his party in the way Andrew Little has here in NZ. And the real shame of it will be that at a time when the British right are at each others throats, the UK Labour Party will be launching into yet another round of self harming in fighting.