THE CONTRAST could not be greater as MPs from all parties prepare to return to Westminster – and implement Brexit – after Boris Johnson’s general election gamble paid off.
As Ministers roll up their sleeves and begin to implement the PM’s policies and priorities, Labour, and also the Liberal Democrats, are still stunned by the size of their respective defeats.
And while Mr Johnson has a clear mandate that must be respected, a good government also needs an effective opposition to challenge him where necessary. Such scrutiny is fundamental to the functioning of democracy – even Mr Johnson would accept this – but the problem now is that Jeremy Corbyn and his cabal of socialists do not realise that their own agenda has been utterly rejected by the electorate.
They did not win the argument, the preposterous claim of, amongst others, Leeds East MP Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary.
Incapable of functioning as Her Majesty’s Opposition, they already appear to be preoccupied with score-settling until they can be fairly confident that a Corbyn disciple is in place to succeed him.
Yet, while Labour has not decided a timetable for its leadership election, it will take months rather than weeks if there is to be a full debate about strategy – time it does not have as Britain prepares to leave the EU next month.
As such, the Parliamentary Labour Party (as opposed to Momentum activists) should move this week to choose an interim leader who commands respect and can scrutinise bullish Ministers.
Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn – who headed the Brexit Select Committee – could fulfil this role now that the argument for a second EU referendum has been lost.
So, too, could former deputy leaders Dame Margaret Beckett and Harriet Harman. But this will only happen if Labour’s high command accepts that Corbynism is over. And, so far, they have not done so.