SKETCH: You may say Labour are dreamers, and those left at conference were nearly the only ones

Labour members might well have sung along to John Lennon’s Imagine as they waited for Jeremy Corbyn to deliver his keynote speech but the irony must not have been lost on all of them.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the party's Annual Conference at the Brighton Centre in Brighton. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Afterall like the fate that ultimately met the Beatles, the Labour Party also seemed to be on the brink of breaking up the band for much of their Brighton conference.

Singing the famous line “You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one,” delegates were right they were not alone - but only just, as MPs, members, and seemingly half of Brighton rushed for the first train back to London as Parliament was recalled. So concerned were party staff that they were inviting all and sundry into the conference hall to bring the numbers up - surely that never happened at a Beatles gig.

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It seemed the perfect time to announce transport investment as many of Corbyn’s own party members crammed themselves onto Southern’s carriages like sardines.

The line also plays to what many outside of the conference - and actually, in it - felt about the party policy on Brexit: that Corbyn must be a dreamer if he thinks voters will support him without knowing how he would campaign in second referendum.

Corbyn insisted on Brexit he was clear, but that wasn’t the opinion of Wendy Nichols - originally from Hull and former Unison Regional Convener for Yorkshire and Humber - who felt differently on Monday. As the hands went up to declare whether members backed Labour taking a neutral position, Ms Nichols - as NEC Chair - said it had passed, only to be overruled by Party Secretary Jennie Formby, who decided it had not. Calls for a card vote - a paper ballot - were denied and many left feeling cheated or that there was stitch up.

Maybe Labour would prefer if in an upcoming election, which they still refuse to say when they will bring forward, could be done by a show of hands.

Maybe after the news that the party had lost 30 per cent of its vote to remain parties, a paper ballot would be too painful.