Tom Watson: Jeremy Corbyn in a tuxedo was the greatest political image
Many Labour MPs were taken aback after their leader appeared on satirical comedy show ‘The Last Leg’.
Tom Watson has defended Jeremy Corbyn dressing up in black tie for a comedy show, saying the Labour leader looked "the absolute business".
Corbyn featured in a skit for Channel 4’s ‘The Last Leg’ that involved him arriving in a Bentley and wearing a fur coat over his tuxedo.
During the show, Corbyn said his passion for staying in the EU rates at about "seven or 7.5" out of ten.
The incident angered some Labour MPs, according to a report in the Sunday Times. A Labour source told the newspaper: “There is naked fury. How can you order your troops to work round the clock for a month or two and then swan around in furs and a tux saying things like that? He is like a general from Blackadder."
But Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, dismissed the criticism. He told 5Live’s Pienaar’s Politics: “I thought that was the greatest image of any political leader I’ve ever seen. I thought he looked the absolute business and I thought, ‘when I get to my mid-60s if I could look that smart in that suit and that coat I would be wearing it’...
"But what I think it showed of Jeremy as a leader, a) this is a man who’s very comfortable in his own skin, he’s got a sense of humour and he can cut through to young voters in a way that very few politicians can, and that is something that you can’t buy in politics."
And Watson surmised: "He should go around wearing tuxedos more often."
On Tuesday, Corbyn will make a speech calling for Britain to remain in the EU, flanked by the leaders of Britain's biggest unions. He is not expect to wear his tuxedo.
It comes as Corbyn remains under pressure to improve his performance in the referendum campaign, with The Times declaring in its leader column on Monday morning: "When the history of the European referendum is written, Jeremy Corbyn will have a controversial walk-on part as the inverse of Forrest Gump.
"Instead of being omnipresent and endearingly sincere he will be depicted as largely absent and culpably dishonest."