I knew, I just knew, it wouldn't take long for them to start squabbling and turn on each other. Clive Lewis has been one of Jeremy Corbyn's biggest supporters, all the way through his leadership. Lewis has consistently been sent out to do interviews and debates on Sky and the BBC to support Corbyn's position and leadership. But for some people, no matter how much you do, you will always fall short; you will always be one misstep away from being accused of being a Red Tory traitor who is trying to infiltrate the movement.
What is interesting is that with Corbyn's refusal to reintroduce shadow cabinet elections (even though he was their strongest advoate before he became leader) means that everyone in the shadow cabinet is there purely by dint of patronage from the leader. You couldn't have a better recipe for a bunch of yes men. This Corbyn ally said the following to Clive Lewis (well, not actually to Lewis; it was shouted at a rally at which Lewis wasn't present)
The shadow cabinet (and in government, the cabinet) is supposed to be the heart of the collective decision-making in the PLP. The leader is merely supposed to be the primus inter pares; the first among equals. But now they treat the shadow cabinet like an advisory body and the shadow ministers as almost like employees of the leader, like cabinet appointees in the United States who serve "at the president's pleasure" and whose power derives entirely from those powers the president chooses to delegate to them. Even though Corbyn claimed when he became leader, he would not have a presidential-style leadership. But that is where we have ended up. and it's getting worse.“You’re only there, you are only in the shadow cabinet, because Jeremy Corbyn put you there. So start defending Jeremy Corbyn’s policy on Trident and Nato and arms spending.”**
(**Note: this man Rees is saying that Lewis is there to be absolutely loyal to Corbyn, may not have a mind of his own, and that loyalty to the leader should trump the party's very clear decided policy on Trident, which was unarguably and indisputably locked in by the party conference as Labour's official and democratically-decided position)
Check the answers to Thursday's exam here