Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has demanded Jeremy Corbyn engage him in a trial by combat, after the second High Court ruling to derail his leadership chances in less than two weeks led him to proclaim: “I know I’ll get no justice here, so I will let the gods decide my fate.”
It all started when a raft of shadow cabinet ministers and Labour MPs launched a coup to upend Mr Corbyn’s leadership and force his resignation, which failed.
Then Corbyn’s opponents sought to ensure he would have to seek nominations from his mutinous parliamentarians in order to stand in a future leadership ballot, but that failed too.
Then Corbyn’s opponents appealed to the High Court against the decision to put Corbyn on the ballot automatically, but the appeal failed.
But they also tried to render around 130,000 Labour members who had signed up in the last six months unable to vote, and that has now also been overturned by the High Court.
Nonetheless, leading Corbyn opponent John McTernan told The Daily Belter: “Everything is going according to plan. This coup was a complete success. Corbyn is going to be crushed. Owen Smith will be leader, and I will be his prophet.”
McTernan’s record as a prophet among men is beyond dispute, with many bold predictions to his name that have later turned out to be true, such as ‘Razorlight are going to the bigger than the Beatles’, ‘Jim Murphy will become First Minister’ and ‘AIDS will never catch on’.
Smith himself, however, is said to be despondent with the latest hammer-blow to his leadership chances, with a source in his campaign telling us: “I’ve never seen Owen so low. It’s like that bit in Game of Thrones during Tyrion’s trial where his former lover Shae comes to the witness box and massively incriminates him.”
The source indicated this was why an apparently drunk Smith chose to tell an emergency press conference this morning: “I saved you. I saved this party, and all your worthless lives. I should have let John McDonnell kill you all.”
Smith continued: “I did not do it. I did not kill Jeremy, but I wish that I had! Watching your vicious bastard die would give me more relief than a thousand lying High Court rulings!
“I wish I was the Blairite you think I am! I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you! I would gladly give my political career to watch you all swallow it!
“I will not give my life for the Labour coup and I know I’ll get no justice here, so I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat!”
Pressed on whether this meant he believed he now had no chance at the ballot box, Smith said: “No. Absolutely I can beat Jeremy in this contest. I just think, for the good of the party, it would be better to settle this the old way.”
Smith reckons he has the “Welsh grit” and “skill with a mace” necessary to defeat the elderly, peace-loving Corbyn.
However, the Labour leader is said to be considering communications director Seumas Milne for his champion, due to his experience in underground Russian fight clubs.