Labour MP Angela Eagle has announced that she will fly back to her nest and leave colleagues Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith to fight it out for the party’s leadership, citing insufficient backing and the need to tend to her young.
Mrs Eagle, who resigned from her shadow cabinet post as business secretary in protest at Mr Corbyn’s leadership, said she will be backing Mr Smith in the upcoming election, and has “every confidence” that her fellow mutineer will prevail in what has become known as “The Bore War.”
She said: “I’d like to thank everybody for their support, and assure them I didn’t count my eggs before they hatched when it comes to standing – I wasn’t on a wing and a prayer, I was genuinely motivated purely by the soaring needs of my party, but my swooping was unnecessary and I can take off now; Labour are safe in the hands of Owen Jones…I mean Owen Smith.”
It is understood that Mrs Eagle and Mr Smith had an informal arrangement regarding today’s ballot, whereby the one with the least votes would back down, and the results showed that Mr Smith was favoured, leading to Mrs Eagle’s withdrawal and the solidification of Mr Smith’s claim, which has grown strongly despite public backing from Ed Miliband.
Having formed an amicable working relationship with Mr Smith, Mrs Eagle is now expected to heavily support her former rival in opposing Mr Corbyn, of whom she said: “I think Jeremy is a good man, and I do like him, but he’s taking my party backwards and he’s no leader. And he’s also a useless old cunt and I hate him.”
The party has become increasingly divided, particularly when the result of Brexit resulted in a coordinated day and night of egg pelting and chappy played at Mr Corbyn’s London hostel, while the recent Trident vote saw Mr Corbyn left with his proverbial penis in his proverbial liver stained hand as his underlings voted for death-machines.
General disenchantment within the party at his leadership also saw synchronised resignations which left him with a cleaning lady as Shadow Chancellor and Kris Marshall as Shadow Foreign Secretary.
This infighting only intensified when Mr Corbyn appeared unfazed by the mutiny, insisting that: “I have a number of principles I believe very strongly in, and I think if you have principles that involve changing the world for the better, you have to follow them to the end – but I won’t try to change anyone else’s opinion on anything, that’d be rude.”
When asked whether the disharmony in his own ranks was making his position untenable, Mr Corbyn shrugged, sending a stream of couscous crumbs off his shoulder and down on to his lap, and then with tired eyes said: “Whatever, I’m not their mother.”
Mr Smith sees himself as being the ideal person to succeed Mr Corbyn and bring much needed authority and unity to Labour, saying that he’s “just as radical” as Mr Corbyn, but simultaneously “not given to taking as many risks” and “won’t make too many changes”.
Analysts have suggested that Mrs Eagle’s past record in government under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown may have soured her reputation, making her a poor prospect at a general election, and some in the party even suggested that her name was fake, since her support for the war in Iraq would make her an Angela Hawk.
By contrast, Mr Smith has a “clean skin” going into such a bout, since he was only bred in a backbencher factory in 2010, and thus will be viewed as a candidate without skeletons in his closet or the ashes of incinerated Iraqis in his hair.
On Mrs Eagle’s withdrawal and his own prospects, Mr Smith said: “Angela put up a great effort and I want to thank her for stepping in when her party needed her, and I’ll happily make her my right hand woman once I’ve cast out the old fart and brought in the new…new…non-fart. Owen Jones. Smith.”