Jeremy Corbyn leapfrogs Liz Kendall in next Labour leader betting, with the polls suggesting he has a chance of victory
Several senior MP’s have expressed concern over the fact that Jeremy Corbyn now stands a reasonable chance of becoming the next leader of the Labour Party.
Corbyn was a late entry in the leadership race after the veteran MP became dissatisfied with the profile of the candidates who had thrown their hat into the ring.
The 66-year-old was initially given odds of 50/1 that he would become the next Labour leader although many affiliated to the party are warming to the MP for Islington North, with Corbyn unafraid of straight-talking and with a keen desire to move the party back towards the left.
Bet365 offer a shade of over 3/1 that the left-leaning politician claims victory, although many in the Labour Party would regard this as a disaster for any attempt to wrest power back from the Conservatives at the next General Election.
As it stands, Andy Burnham is the even money favourite and Yvette Cooper is available at 3/1, although Kendall has drifted in the market and she’s now as big as 12/1 to win the race for opposition leader.
Corbyn has recently asked for the Daily Telegraph to stop campaigning for him to be Labour leader, with the Tory-leaning newspaper of the opinion that electing him as leader would play into the government’s hands.
“Though this a pure media stunt, Labour has in any case robust mechanisms to root out anti-Labour people from participating and we urge constituency Labour parties and members to shop anyone to the party who may have tried to sign up on this basis,” a spokesman for Corbyn’s leadership campaign told the Guardian.
“If the Telegraph wishes to be taken seriously in its coverage of the leadership election it should consider whether this is the right way to go about it.”
Corbyn has the backing of Unite, which is the biggest union that supports Labour, while Unison and GMB are also expected to get behind someone who wants to move the party back to the left and call upon socialist principles that were previously left behind with the formation of New Labour.
A senior figure told the Independent: “What a horrific week for the sensible people in the Labour Party.” Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, warned that even if Mr Corbyn came second it could still have negative consequences for the party.
“People have got to consider very carefully what message the result will send to the public,” he said. “It’s not just about who wins this contest; it is the shakedown of the results.
“We are not just selecting a Labour leader, we are selecting somebody who is a Labour prime minister. But we’re also giving an indication to the people of Britain where we are centred, what we think, what we think the solutions will be.”