Coming soon: Barry Gardiner – The Movie

Coming soon: Barry Gardiner – The Movie
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With the BAFTAs last Sunday and the Oscars next week, film award season is well underway. And while it's too late for new entries this year, Mr S hears of a dark horse for next year's competitions. Step forward, Labour's Barry Gardiner, who is the unlikely star of a documentary about his recent private members' bill to ban 'fire and rehire' practices. Gardiner, Jeremy Corbyn's colourful shadow trade secretary, ran a series of eye-catching stunts to raise publicity for the campaign, including gatecrashing the 1922 drinks at Tory party conference: a move that prompted frenzied speculation of an imminent defection.

His efforts to change the law might have been unsuccessful but at least they have been captured for posterity. The one-hour long documentary is about to go on a national tour around the country, beginning with showings at around 40 Constituency Labour party branches and then screenings at major left-leaning events like the Durham Miners' Gala, the Tolpuddle Martyrs and potentially Glastonbury festival too. The film will then be taken to Cannes ahead of the film festival on 4 April, potentially giving Gardiner his next re-election slogan: yes we Cannes. 

There are even ongoing discussions to show the film on Netflix. The streaming giant is said to be keen to promote more political films and documentaries following their success of 'Knocking Down the House' which featured American firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez alongside other progressive Democrats. There's a ready-made chat up line for any amorous Labour activist next party conference: 'Why don't you come back to mine to watch the Barry Gardiner film?' Netflix and chill, indeed.

Fortunately for Gardiner, filming wrapped before the recent revelations that he'd taken more than half a million pounds in donations from a suspected Chinese spy. Film buffs IMDB estimate the budget of the documentary at £100,000: Mr S has been reassured that none of it was funded from the coffers of the CCP. Sadly, Netflix isn't available in China, denying millions there the chance to see 'Beijing Barry' in action; he'll just have to make do with his many fans in Britain instead.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this articlePoliticsbarry gardinerlabour