Sadiq Khan takes a swipe at Labour’s Great Leader

Sadiq Khan takes a swipe at Labour's Great Leader
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The Diary of a Gulag Prison Guard

Ivan Chistyakov. Translated by Arch Tait

Granta, pp. 288, £

Well, this is going well. Last night Jeremy Corbyn's control of the Labour party grew even stronger with the appointment of Jennie Formby as Labour's general secretary - the party's most senior official. Formby – a key Corbyn ally – won the overwhelming support of Labour's ruling NEC to take the post after a short contest, which saw her main rival Jon Lansman drop out.

Only it's not clear to Mr S that everyone in Labour is so impressed by recent goings on. Just an hour after her appointment, Sadiq Khan was entertaining hacks at City Hall – where he made a number of jokes about both Corbyn and the hire of the former Unite staffer. On Corbyn alone, Khan told journalists that the best way to get an interview with Jeremy is to say you 'used to work for a Russian'.

Meanwhile, the mayor of London suggested he would be writing to Formby to suggest that Labour follows in President Xi Jinping’s steps and give Labour conference a vote to 'give our Great Leader a job for life':

'My basis for doing so is not because there is a trigger ballot this summer, or because it guarantees me a speaking slot at conference, though some of you may think that.'

Given that there was a row at last year's Labour conference over whether Khan should speak, the jokes were a little close to the bone for some in the room...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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