Labour’s right-wing are bereft of hope after Jeremy Corbyn cemented control in Brighton

It was September 2015 that those on Labour’s right suffered the shock of seeing the most ardent leftwing backbencher – someone they never would have dreamed would become leader – brush aside all opposition and snatch their party’s crown.

For them that was the moment of rupture, but two years on they are still making their way through the tough middling phases of the seven stages of grief.

The shock and denial has passed, the pain and guilt trudged through. Some are still stuck with anger and bargaining. Many have moved on to stage four – depression, reflection and loneliness.

“There is just no hope at the moment. There is not anyone who can take us forward,” one figure of the Labour right said.

“That’s not to say there aren’t people who are doing good work – there are, but there is just no one to rally around. Who would it be?”

At the suggestion that the former frontbencher and Streatham MP Chuka Umunna could be the person, he wrinkles his nose, “he’s not the one, is he”.

Umunna was at least one of the MPs who was here in Brighton tirelessly working the fringes, banging the drum for the single market as the rest of the members, unions and delegates decided it was not going to be meaningfully voted on from the conference floor.   

That show of operational strength, turning the machinery of the party in Jeremy Corbyn’s favour so he could avoid any embarrassment at his victory conference, was the loudest statement of the completeness of his victory over his rivals.    

But the dynamic of this year’s conference was not just the victory of the left over the right, but of the leadership and membership over the parliamentary party, who agitated to push the leader out for 24 months before succumbing.  

Another party insider connected to the right of the party said: “A lot of MPs have been notable by their absence.

“Some have come, and a small number have been doing a lot of events.

“But Lords too. They’re getting on with their job dutifully in Westminster, but they have not been a force here. 

“There was an event at which in the past we would have had hundreds of Labour peers turn up. But there were barely ten this time round.”

The Progress rally on the Sunday night was once the home of the party’s ruling elite, but as The Independent’s Tom Peck wrote, there was a distant feel to this year’s event.

At the event key speakers tried to buoy those who…

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