The Labour leadership race just got redder. And beard-ier.
Jeremy Corbyn has thrown his hat into the ring,
He's been an MP for 32 years, exactly the same number of years as his longest serving rivals (Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham) put together. Elected as he was in the drubbing of 1983.
MP for Islington North, he's a avowed socialist, a writer for the Morning Star and great friend of the late Tony Benn.
There has been some disquiet in the more radical reaches of the PLP that there was no clear candidate of the left. Corbyn would definitely satisfy that requirement. He's an ardent nationaliser, opponent of foreign intervention (including Iraq), a long standing ally of Sinn Fein and the cause of a united Ireland and a Palestinian state. He's also one of the party's serial rebels, especially in Tony Blair's time.
So leftyness=check. But he might have left it a little late in the day to be their standard bearer with Andy Burnham already hoovering up much union support. He may well find himself dependent on Burnham's support in lending him MPs. This might suit Burnham, not wanting to be portrayed as the most left-wing candidate. Or he might choose not to take the risk. Either way, given there are only 232 Labour MPs and nearly half committed already, the race is getting pretty crowded.
But at least two prominent members from two very different wings of the party seem to want him on the ballot:
Maybe he is the unity candidate, after all.