Jeremy Corbyn says Tony Blair will not return to House of Commons while he leads Labour
Tony Blair will not return to the House of Commons while Jeremy Corbyn is in charge of Labour, the party leader has said.
Mr Corbyn said "nuanced differences of opinion" would prevent the former prime minister's return to Parliamentary politics inside Labour, which he led to three successive general election victories between 1997 and 2005.
This summer Mr Corbyn backed a motion declaring his predecessor guilty of "contempt" following the release of the Chilcot Report, while Mr Blair was later reported to be mulling a comeback because he considered the Islington North MP a "nutter".
Mr Corbyn told The Guardian: "I think the nuanced differences of opinion between me and Tony Blair are quite well known.
"I don’t see Tony Blair and I working together. I don’t think he does either."
Mr Blair ruled himself out of the upcoming byelection in Copeland, Cumbria, triggered by Jamie Reed's resignation, the Labour leader added. Mr Reed has been a public critic of Mr Corbyn, describing himself light-heartedly as “Red Leader, Rebel Alliance” on Twitter.
Labour is ramping up preparations to relaunch Mr Corbyn as a left-wing populist figure in the new year as it seeks to ride an anti-politics mood following Brexit.
Senior party officials reportedly believe his unpolished authenticity could gather support from the same anti-establishment sentiment that has heralded the popularity of the likes of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, and believe this could bolster his chances in a potential early election.
In an interview with The Independent, Mr Corbyn said his MPs would back a vote for an early election if Theresa May decided to call one.
Independent News Service