Labour leadership contests are normally traumatic events held in very unhappy times for the party. The election of Ed Miliband in 2010 followed a general election defeat that ended 13 years of Labour government. Five years later Jeremy Corbyn was installed after Miliband failed to return the party to power. Then in the summer of 2016 a revolt against Corbyn by his own MPs sparked another contest, which saw the incumbent win again and take revenge on the mutinous parliamentary party. Inevitably these contests cause internal ruptures as rival candidates set out opposing visions and their supporters divide into camps. The 2010 campaign had its tragic aspects too, as the Miliband brothers, Ed and David, fell out while fighting each other for the right to succeed Gordon Brown. But the race to take over from Corbyn, following Labour’s worst general election result since 1935, will begin next month amid levels of anger, recrimination and bitterness that few in the party can remember. “The actual aftermath is proving to be even worse than the election loss itself and that was truly awful,” was the way one Labour MP who retained her seat described the atmosphere last week. Former MPs and candidates… Read full this story
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