Corbyn Gambit was move worthy of Redford in The Sting, says Keir Mudie

The Sting was on the other night. It seems to be on most nights, as it happens.

You know the one? Paul Newman and Robert Redford, 1973. The theme music is The Entertainer.

I used to reckon it had my two ­favourite twists – the bit where they’re playing cards and the ending.

But this week the Labour Party ­suddenly came up with a move worthy of Redford and Newman.

It was the sort of tactic we’ve been waiting for for a long time. The Big Reveal. The Corbyn Gambit.

Where did that come from? Did Jeremy Corbyn dream it up on a ­sunbed? With one letter he transformed the landscape of what looked to be a summer drifting in one direction.

He’s framed the upcoming general election, put the novice Lib Dem leader in a tough spot and – whisper it – ­almost, almost given his party a position they can get behind. No to no-deal.

Whatever you think we can do in terms of jobs, medicines, food and all that, we can’t leave without a deal. Don’t listen to the Americans.

His letter to fellow opposition parties makes them an offer they almost can’t refuse. And if they do refuse they look churlish and ridiculous.

Install the Labour leader as PM on a temporary basis, then have an election and sort Brexit.

It also does two things for Labour Remainers.

It unites them against the threat of no-deal. And it gives those who don’t like Mr Corbyn – and there are a fair few knocking around – a chance to get behind him while saving face.

Of course they can support him under these circumstances. The priority is avoiding no-deal.

Even MPs who don’t like Mr Corbyn think it’s a good idea. Even Edinburgh South’s Ian Murray, left, who shares the same attitude to Mr Corbyn as Dracula does to garlic bread, thinks this is a good move.


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