Labour MPs are in no mood to fake it. At Jeremy Corbyn’s first meeting with the Parliamentary Labour Party, there was no cheer as he entered the room, no raucous applause when he stood up to speak. Instead, all that could be heard outside in the corridor was a few rounds of mild, polite applause. For a new leader, this is quite unprecedented.
Corbyn’s message was that he had three priorities as leader: housing, the elections in Scotland and Wales next year and a Labour government in 2020. He also tried to stress that he wanted to be an inclusive leader, emphasising that he didn’t want any change to party selection rules. In an attempt to reassure MPs, he said that Labour under him would not be against individual achievement and aspiration. But this counts as one of those things that if you have to say it, then you have a problem.
Jeremy Corbyn is a leader imposed on Labour MPs. Tonight was a reminder that they are sullenly accepting his leadership, and nothing more.