'Winner' Corbyn gets standing ovation from Labour MPs in Commons
It came as Harriet Harman said that Corbyn was the heir to Tony Blair.
Jeremy Corbyn’s newfound popularity in the Labour party was underlined today as he was praised by yet another opponent and then got a standing ovation in the Commons.
Since Labour’s shock 30 seat gain in the general election, Corbyn’s critics have been lining up to eat humble pie.
Today they were joined by Harriet Harman, who issued perhaps the most stunning endorsement of Corbyn yet from the moderate wing of the party.
The former deputy Labour leader and past Corbyn critic suggested that the current leader was the heir to Tony Blair.
"I supported Tony Blair in the Nineties because he won for Labour," she told the Evening Standard. "Now Jeremy Corbyn is winning for Labour.
"Tony Blair took us to victory in Lincoln, Stroud, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Warwick. Now Jeremy is doing the same."
Shortly after Harman’s comment emerged, Corbyn was given a standing ovation and sustained applause by Labour MPs as he walked into the Commons chamber.
MPs queued up to shake hands with Corbyn as they gathered in the Commons for the first time since the election. Meanwhile, Tory MPs sat grim-faced following their own leader’s disastrous election performance.
Corbyn ally Richard Burgon called the standing ovation "historic" and added: "May laughed - uneasily."
Among the Labour moderates to have rowed back on their criticism of Corbyn in recent days are the former cabinet ministers Peter Mandelson and David Blunkett.
Having previously said he was "working every day" to bring down Corbyn, Lord Mandelson admitted after the result: "I was wrong. I am very surprised, an earthquake has happened in British politics and I did not foresee it."
Lord Blunkett said: "All credit to Jeremy Corbyn. The anti-austerity campaign that he led has been extremely effective, backed up – it has to be said – by those who didn’t always agree with him."
Meanwhile Owen Smith, who challenged Corbyn for the leadership last year, said: "I think Jeremy has cut through with the reality that Labour offers a very different set of priorities and choices to the public in a way the previous Labour shadow administration didn't."