Ed Corbyn, younger brother of the new Labour leader Jeremy, has told reporters he is ‘sitting by the phone’ in case anything untoward befalls his elder sibling.
‘I know things have all pretty much settled down now, but I just want to make sure everybody has my number,’ he said at a sparsely-attended press call on the fringe of the Labour conference in Brighton. ‘You know, I’m here any time, just say the word. The word being “challenge”, of course,’ he added, winking.
Senior Labour figures, who refused to be named, were said to be ‘interested’ in getting hold of Ed’s number. ‘We did have one of these younger Eds before, but I think we were using it all wrong,’ said one backbencher known only as “YC”. ‘Instead of trying to train it to lead we should have just used it to trigger an election and then choose the leader we really wanted. If we tried that this time I can’t think of anything that could possibly go wrong.’
Jeremy Corbyn has refused to be drawn on the issue of Ed Corbyn’s loyalty. ‘We’ve never been especially close,’ he admitted, ‘but I am confident that my brother has put himself fully at the service of our party and I can depend on him for his full support, at least until I am photographed carrying a banana or accidentally take us to war in the Middle East.’
He went on to insist that such pitfalls were ‘highly unlikely’ ever to occur. ‘You know, surprises happen very rarely in politics,’ Jeremy Corbyn said. ‘There’s about as much chance of me having some kind of fruit-related PR disaster as there is of, oh, I don’t know, me being elected Leader of the Labour – no, hold on. That’s not right. Hey look over there, isn’t that my brother Ed eating a bacon sandwich?’