Labour’s leadership campaign lurches left with Jeremy Corbyn

Leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn's last-minute nomination for party leader has put Labour in a predicament. Emily Hohler reports.

The dynamics of the Labour leadership election were "radically altered" when, at the last minute, the 66-year-old leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn secured the 35 nominations required to stand, says Patrick Wintour in The Guardian. His inclusion demoralised some Labour MPs who said it would "pervert the centre of gravity of the debate even further from where the public are".

Corbyn's presence on the ballot paper confirms that Labour "still doesn't get it", says Dan Hodges in The Daily Telegraph. If Labour was going to have a "proper debate", Corbyn's hard-left views would "already have been consigned to the dustbin of history". Instead, it's chosen to go "rummaging through Michael Foot's dustbin".

Labour's predicament is complex, saysJim Pickard in the Financial Times.It needs to defeat the Tories in southern England, Ukip in the north and the Scottish Nationalists north of the border. The party seems "unsure what lessons to learn" from its electoral defeat and the three other leadership candidates, who span Labour's ideological spectrum, are "struggling to articulate a clear strategy for victory". Andy Burnham, the frontrunner, is seen as a "soft left candidate with strong trade union backing", Liz Kendall as the naturalheir to Blairism, while Yvette Cooperis "somewhere between the two".

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The political differences between these three"should not be dismissed", butthey are "subtle", says The Guardian. One advantage of having Corbyn on the ballot paper is that his fearlessness in defining himself he will fight the cuts, oppose Trident and defend civil liberties could "usefully force more definition" on the other three.

Labour is unlikely to win in 2020 in any case, but if Corbyn was leader, its loss would be "so catastrophic" that the left of the party might "be silenced for good", says Toby Young in The Daily Telegraph. To ensure that happens, Tories could do their bit by paying £3 to become a "registered supporter" of Labour and then vote for him. "Having digested all the postmortems of Ed Miliband's failure, it seems clear that the biggest reason for Labour's defeat is because Miliband believed in a bad theory ie, some version of Marxism. And when I say bad' I mean just flat out wrong."

Quite, says Matthew Parris in The Times. And for as long as "the impression endures that the Labour Party is secretly but in its deepest marrow hostile to the whole idea of market economics", it is doomed. If it could admit that it was wrong about socialism and be believed it could then convincingly "lead the charge to make the market work". Socialism, however you define it, has been "definitively discredited" over the past century.

Yet it retains the moral advantage because of our squeamishness about embracing the profit motive. Tories won't stand up for capitalist principle; they also get too close to the "monopolistic, cartel-hugging, anti-competitive elements" of free markets. "Abuses are rife, widely suspected and conveniently overlooked. Here is a real vacuum that an opposition party could fill."

Emily Hohler

Emily has worked as a journalist for more than thirty years and was formerly Assistant Editor of MoneyWeek, which she helped launch in 2000. Prior to this, she was Deputy Features Editor of The Times and a Commissioning Editor for The Independent on Sunday and The Daily Telegraph. She has written for most of the national newspapers including The Times, the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Daily Mail, She interviewed celebrities weekly for The Sunday Telegraph and wrote a regular column for The Evening Standard. As Political Editor of MoneyWeek, Emily has covered subjects from Brexit to the Gaza war.

Aside from her writing, Emily trained as Nutritional Therapist following her son's diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes in 2011 and now works as a practitioner for Nature Doc, offering one-to-one consultations and running workshops in Oxfordshire.