A tale of two moderate Labour MPs – Tristram Hunt and Liam Byrne

Imagine you are a Labour MP on the “moderate” wing of the party. How do you react to a Corbyn led Labour Party? We saw two so called moderates in the news today with two different and distinct interventions.

The first, Tristram Hunt, was according to the Cambridge University student newspaper Varsity, reported to have told the Cambridge Labour Club: “You are the top 1%. The Labour party is in the shit. It is your job and your responsibility to take leadership going forward.”

He is also reported to have said “The way you serve the Corbyn leadership is to be as dissenting and creative as possible.” More on his talk to the Cambridge Labour Club in the Guardian here.

The second moderate, Liam Byne, had a op-ed called My new version of Clause IV charts a way forward for Labour published in the Guardian here. He started his piece by saying:

When Jeremy Corbyn sealed his stunning leadership victory, he boldly promised “real debate, not message discipline”.

Jeremy was right. And now we’re making progress hammering the Tories on tax credits, it’s time for progress with the real debate that was promised. We need to offer voters more than anger. We need to offer an alternative.

He goes on to detail a series of policies that he believes could help deal with the huge inequality we have in our society. He makes it clear he is throwing out ideas for debate “to get the conversation started.”

Both of these MPs are firmly on the “moderate” wing of the party, but each of them has adopted a very different approach. I make no comment on the merits or demerits of either of the two interventions as I’d rather leave it for you, the reader, to make your own assessment.


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