A former top Ed Miliband aide has urged Labour MPs and supporters to give Jeremy Corbyn a shot, and called on the new leader to look beyond his "vanguard" as he selects his new shadow cabinet. Lord Stewart Wood told IBTimes UK that Corbyn should be given a chance to prove himself after the left-winger almost won 60% of the vote in Labour's leadership election.
"It was an extraordinary result and it was a remarkable campaign, one which used the new rules and motivated tens of thousands of people to get engaged in policies at a time when politics is not fashionable and not in high esteem," Wood argued.
The Labour thinker, who has also advised former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, also urged Corbyn to "reach out" across the party in the wake of his victory. "All leadership contests are divisive by their nature, but this one has been obviously quite spiky because of the Jeremy phenomenon," Wood said.
"Jeremy and his team need to make an effort to reach out and don't just rely on the Corbyn vanguard to run the party, I think they know that."
Too soon to call 2020 election
Wood, who was Miliband's shadow minister without portfolio, argued that it was "too premature to predict" when pressed if he thought Corbyn could win the 2020 general election for Labour.
"There's definitely something that he tapped into about a desire to have a different way of doing politics – he has to turn that from a broad template into a concrete set of things," the peer said. "Judge him in virtue of what he does over the next few weeks and months, rather than preconceptions of what he will be like."
Wood also said he would help in whatever way he can as Corbyn begins his reign as Labour leader, but said it would be "highly unlikely" for the left-winger to ask him to join the new shadow cabinet. The comments come after top Labour donor John Mills exclusively spoke to IBTimes UK.
The businessman urged Labour members to "stick around", despite having disagreements with Corbyn on some major areas.
"The thing to do is not to take umbrage and say, 'Oh, because someone has been elected where you don't agree with everything he says, we have to de-camp and join some other party.' I want to stay in the Labour Party, keep on working for the sort of policies which I think will work best and are most likely to get Labour elected," Mills said.
The remarks come as the new Labour leader considers the members of his new shadow cabinet on 13 September, a top team which Unite general secretary Len McCluskey claimed would be "shocking".