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It's a jungle out there... Sunday Sun NOVEMBER 26, 2017 Mike Kelly ? email AN EYE ON THE NEWS.

AS late as about May Stephen Kinnock probably thought one day he would follow in the footsteps of his dad Neil as Labour party leader.

Neil Kinnock was famous for three things - taking on the hard left in the party, falling in the sea during a photo op and hosting a cringeworthy triumphalist Labour shindig before the 1992 General Election which the party lost. There is a fourth but I'll get to that later.

Son Stephen in a curious way has after this week followed a spookily similar trajectory.

He has taken on the 'hard left' by being an outspoken critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and appeared in a cringeworthy event - in this case a TV documentary - which did him no favours and has left his ambitions all at sea.

The BBC documentary was called 'Labour - the summer that changed everything.'.

It followed several MPs around for months up to the General Election, starting at a time when it looked like Corbyn was a dead leader walking and that come the morning of June 9 he would have no option but to go.

A month before the ballot, Kinnock junior told the film maker David Modell: "On the 9th June, Jeremy will have to take a long hard look in the mirror. It will be a hard personal choice for him, I'm sure. That's something that only Jeremy can do."

Then came the exit poll prediction that subsequently proved accurate which revealed the Tories would not win a majority as everyone believed. Most damning for Kinnock was his response to the exit poll and the camera proved a mirror into Kinnock's political soul.

While other MPs featured were also no fans of Corbyn, they at least expressed delight at the unexpected result.

With the camera pointed at Kinnock his eyes narrowed and his brow furrowed. You could almost hear the cogs in his brain turning as he considered what impact it would have on his political ambitions.

At his constituency count the news teams were keen to talk to him about the result and what it meant as he was one of Corbyn's fiercest critics.

Kinnock, as Modell said rather drily, was happy to oblige.

There followed documentary gold. As Kinnock gets wired up for the interview his wife, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former Prime Minister of Denmark no less, asks in a stage whisper "Why are you doing this now?" "Umm...I don't know." he replied. "What are you going to say?" He didn't seem sure about that either. She tells him not to mention Corbyn and concentrate on what's happened with his vote.

As the film maker pointed out, Helle an experienced politician, had spotted danger. Which brings me to the fourth similarity with his dad - that some thought the political brain in his house was Neil's wife Glenys.

Politics can be cruel - it's a jungle out there, as Kezia Dugdale will soon find out.


| Stephen Kinnock and his wife Helle Thorning-Schmidt arrive for a reception at Buckingham Palace

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Publication:Sunday Sun (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 26, 2017
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