Jeremy Corbyn’s on the backbenches again, but he’s still leading

Jeremy Corbyn on backbenches in parliament
Ed Sykes

Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) was held in a sparsely attended House of Commons on 22 April, with many MPs opting to join in via video conference. One person who was in parliament, though, was former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. And while he’s now on the backbenches again after almost five years on the front line, he’s still very much leading.

Demanding a rapid increase in coronavirus testing

Corbyn has been consistently holding the government to account over its highly controversial coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic response both as opposition leader and backbencher in recent weeks. And he asked health secretary Matt Hancock in parliament on 22 April:

Can he assure us that there’s going to be a really rapid increase in the level of testing and the availability of testing to get on top of this dreadful virus?

He had previously stressed that:

The World Health Organization indicated that there was a danger of an epidemic from corona[virus] in January. They later declared it to be a pandemic. The director general of the World Health Organization said, in terms, the way of dealing with it is ‘test, test, test’, in order to ascertain the levels of infection across our society. We didn’t do that.

Corbyn also tweeted:

As The Canary reported on 21 April:

experts who offered help to the government [with testing] … waited weeks for a response. And testing rates are still shockingly low. The government has promised 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, but there were only around 20,000 done between 19 April and 20 April, although capacity is greater.

Corbyn and his ideas are going nowhere

The presence of Corbyn in parliament showed his ongoing commitment to serving his constituency and country. His question was firm, damning, and completely valid. In short, he’s going nowhere. And nor are his important, pertinent ideas:

As one person pointed out this week, Corbyn “doesn’t have to be the Labour Leader to be leading from the front”:

So if Corbyn’s opponents thought he’d just disappear once he was no longer Labour leader, they misunderstood who he is. As one company suggested today, it’d be difficult to find another high-profile figure as humble and kind as Corbyn:

Corbyn leads by example. He always has. And other politicians would do well to learn from him.

Featured image via screenshot, with additional content via Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. Corbyn is over 70 and being in the HoC today was very much unnecessary. Why is Corbyn putting ‘our’ NHS at risk? He was seen a couple of weeks ago breaching social distancing in Portcullis House whilst on another unnecessary outing. Typical hypocritical Corbyn. The sooner he joins Foot in the list of failed has-beens that time forgot the better.
      I cannot think of any reason he should be breaching the guidelines that have been put in place to protect the public and the NHS. No doubt the useful idiots who’ve worshiped him for so long will forgive the risk he’s causing NHS staff with his behaviour.

      1. This comment reveals a complete lack of self-awareness. Austerity? NHS cuts? No pay rise for nurses? Student nurse debt? Bozo going round shaking hands with everyone in hospitals? Etc, etc.

        There’s nothing more fake than a Tory pretending to care about a) the NHS b) its workers c) other people in general.

        1. A – I used to work for the NHS and various other public sector organisations. The Tories aren’t perfect. Labour are worse. Lack of awareness my arse.
          B – I believe Labour introduced PFI into the NHS. Am I wrong or are you going to come up with some factional crap about centrists? Perhaps we would have more to invest in the NHS had the Labour party not led us into an illegal war that cost us Billions and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands. That is the legacy of your Labour party. It has blood on it’s hands.
          Oh, you mentioned student debt, I was a student when the Labour party introduced tuition fees. Thanks again Labour.

            1. You conveniently ignored the crux of my original comment. Corbyn’s irresponsible behaviour putting himself and others at risk uneccesarily. Additionally the points about tuition fees and the illegal war your party started. Any comment?
              What’s the percentage difference between Conservative PFI and Labour PFU in healthcare?

    2. You have conveniently forgotten Johnsons behaviour before he finally ‘took one for the team’. Hardly an inspirational leader as he took up some worthy persons place in ICU carefully tended by the real heroes.

      1. Not at all. But this article is proclaiming what a champion Corbyn is, when in reality he’s being an utter bell end. There are more than enough attack pieces about Boris on this website. Anyone who is ill is deserving a place in hospital and that includes Boris. To say anything otherwise completely undermines the very basis of the NHS. Believe it or not the NHS is for Tories too. The harm done to the NHS by Labour over the years cannot be understated. Both Labour and the Conservatives are guilty of it yet Labour treat it as their own.
        You talk of real heroes in the NHS (my sister is frontline NHS), yet Corbyn is putting them at risk with his behaviour. If this site was in any way objective and impartial, it would remove it’s tongue from Corbyn’s backside and actually offer some criticism from time to time.
        Corbyn is being completely irresponsible by flagrantly ignoring the guidelines not just for the general public but for his age group as well. And for what? So he can make some mealy mouthed comments from the sidelines as a mere backbencher. Not worth it.

            1. With your two usernames I hardly think you can accuse of fake profiles! Mine’s obviously in reference to Diane Abbott turning up on election day wearing two left shoes.
              And actually I avoid Twitter.
              Interesting comment from bkwanab. Do you not like to engage with people with opposing views? Or do you prefer echo chambers where nobody questions anything? I come on here because I hold differing views, but feel it’s important to know what the opposition think and feel. There’s actually a lot of common ground between left and right that isn’t shared by the centrists that we all know and love..

        1. Absolutely not management. At the very bottom of the chain in fact. Unlike Labourites such as Diane Abbott’s son, who has just pleaded guilty to assaulting several nurses whilst on a Cocaine fuelled binge, I actually respect the NHS. Diane obviously tried to cover up this incident with media injunctions, but it can now be reported on. That’s your kind of politicians I guess.
          ‘People are dying because twats like me voted Tory.’ How about the approx 1 million dead in the Middle East because twats like you voted Labour and started an illegal war? Blood on your hands.

        2. Please let’s not associate New Labour with Corbyn’s Labour, you people do it all the time. The NHS IS a Labour construct right from the start when the might of the then Tory party tried in every way to prevent its formation.
          A little tip for you, when you’re in a hole there comes a time when you need to stop digging, you’re convincing no-one.
          And talking of tongues and backsides, may i mention Johnson and Trump.

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