ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Jeremy Corbyn destroyed rival Owen Smith with a brilliant story on Question Time last night

The besieged Labour leader wasn't messing about

Jeremy Corbyn destroyed rival Owen Smith with a brilliant story on Question Time last night
Danielle de Wolfe
09 September 2016

Channel 4’s sterling coverage of the Paralympic opening ceremony may well have been the best spectacle on TV this week, but the BBC had some fireworks of their own last night as Labour rivals Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith went head-to-head in a Question Time debate.

And debate they did, with both men landing serious blows throughout the political programme. Although while it could be argued Smith emerged with more credit, one potential knockout blow came from Corbyn, who revealed this absolute peach of a story:

Eliciting the biggest studio guffaws of the night, the besieged Labour leader’s tale of how Smith tried to offer him a job that didn’t exist to usher him out of power, sarcastically saying it was “really generous” of him to offer the role of party president if he chose to step down, was as unexpected as it was glorious.

After all, this is a man who normally goes out of his way to avoid playground politics, sitting impassively as Cameron, May et al, mock him openly; a man who’s seen more mutinies than Blackbeard himself attempting to make Smith look foolish - not least when his opposite number uncomfortably tried to wriggle out of it. Sensing Smith's attempts to have his say, Corbyn then went on the offensive again, adding, "It was really kind of you, Owen”.

And if that weren't galling enough for Owen, at the end of the programme he had to slink off stage while Corbyn was swarmed with fans hunting for selfies with the Labour chief.

Corbyn has been on record as saying he's declined the offer of being party president on a few occasions, believing Labour doesn’t need one. He once told the BBC that the position sounds “like a director of football".

Any more party debates like this and we might have to make them pay-per-view.