Time to decide: Party of Country?

Last week the Labour Party re-elected Jeremy Corbyn as the Leader of the Opposition.

Thursday, 29th September 2016, 6:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:36 pm
Nus Ghani MP for Wealden

Last week the Labour Party re-elected Jeremy Corbyn as the Leader of the Opposition. He received a mandate from Labour members that cannot be ignored, but the way in which it has been received by high-ranking moderate politicians within the Labour Party is at best confusing, at worst dangerous.

In America, many Republican politicians are currently adopting the mantra “country before party”, and supporting Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. They are doing this despite having themselves represented the red of the Republican Party, because they believe Trump to be a threat to the security, prosperity and international standing of their country.

Following his defeat to Corbyn, Owen Smith said: “I entered this race because I didn’t think Jeremy was providing the leadership we need” but that, respecting the result, he would do whatever he could “to help Labour win again”.

Do they hold this country in such contempt that they consider it their most important duty to make sure the red flag of the Labour Party is flying above 10 Downing Street, even if they do not believe their candidate for Prime Minister has, in their own words, “the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding” or the ability to “convince the country that we understand their concerns and aspirations”?

Well, I don’t. I sit on the Home Affairs Select Committee, which looks at issues of national security and counter-terrorism. And I know that a leader who does not think we need a nuclear deterrent, and even expresses doubt about the need for an army, is not capable of sitting in the room when key decisions about the security of our country are being made.

There is now only one party of government in the UK. No other party has shown itself mature or competent enough to protect and defend the British people. It is time for senior Labour politicians, who openly and consistently show that they have no faith in Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to be Prime Minister, to decide once and for all – party, or country?