Barry Gardiner was reported to have thrown his hat into the ring to become the next Labour Party leader after securing the backing of United the Union leader Len McCluskey. Mr Gardiner and Mr McCluskey dismissed claims they had come to an agreement but he Labour frontbencher later confirmed he is considering joining the fray of candidates running to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. His announcement however sparked mockery online, with one social media user writing: “Is this a spoof?
“Barry Gardiner wouldn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of winning an election to become Prime Minister of Cloud Cuckoo Land.”
Another user echoed the sentiment, tweeting: “Barry Gardiner couldn’t win a raffle even if he bought all the tickets.”
Some Twitter users took particular issues with the shadow International Trade Secretary when he suggested what set him apart from other candidates is the ability to “win an election.”
One social media user sarcastically commented: “Barry Gardiner – ‘I can win an election’ when asked on BBC News what separates him from other Labour leadership contenders. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit LSD.”
And one user hit out at Mr Gardiner, branding him a “poor man’s Corbyn”: “@BarryGardiner You have NO chance of winning any election!
“You are just a poor man’s Corbyn and he was bloody awful! Just don’t! For the sake of our party don’t!”
The Labour frontbencher, who is currently in Abu Dhabi to attend a climate change conference, was also quizzed over his ability to put forward his name for the contest without clarifying the manifesto he would run on.
One Twitter user said: “Why does Barry Gardiner think he deserves to get a free ticket to the leadership contest without having to put views forward?
“All the other candidates have put themselves up to have their plans scrutinises at hustings or by the press.”
Some others simply rejected his potential candidacy with a few terse words: “Absolutely no to Barry Gardiner.”
Another added: “Barry Gardiner as future PM? We will all die of boredom.”
Speaking to BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire, Mr Gardiner claimed colleagues have urged him to stand for the Labour leadership to bring back “dynamism” in the party.
He said: “I can win a general election. I’m setting out what I believe is the key reason my colleagues have encouraged me to stand.
“They believe I have the ability to communicate, to bring that dynamism of debate that is necessary in order to go out to the country.
“I believe all my colleagues who are standing are eminently capable of being a better Prime Minister than Boris Johnson but the key thing is winning the keys of Downing Street.
“We have to become a Labour Government, we’ve got to stop talking to ourselves and start talking to the country.”
Should Mr Gardiner decide to stand he would join favourite Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis.
The National Executive Committee of the Labour Party announced this week they will announce the names of the new leader and deputy leader at a special conference on April 4.
Barry Gardiner was reported to have thrown his hat into the ring to become the next Labour Party leader after securing the backing of United the Union leader Len McCluskey. Mr Gardiner and Mr McCluskey dismissed claims they had come to an agreement but he Labour frontbencher later confirmed he is considering joining the fray of candidates running to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.