Gordon Brown has waded into the Labour leadership race, urging the party to become “credible” and “electable” once more.
The former Prime Minister gave a speech this afternoon in which he said that Labour was “grieving” following their election defeat and that they needed to avoid the trap of becoming “a pale imitation of what the Tories offer” or “a party of permanent protest, rather than a party of government.”
However, although he spoke for nearly 50 minutes, Mr Brown did not mention Jeremy Corbyn by name a single time though it seemed his message - that of putting ideological purity above power - was aimed directly at those thinking about voting for the left-wing frontrunner.
Yet, despite the politician’s passionate pleas for his party’s future, not everyone’s focus was on Mr Brown’s message. Throughout his speech, he stormed up and down the stage, leaving some viewers dizzy with his erratic pacing.
In case you missed it - key sections of Gordon Brown's speech pic.twitter.com/cVALmJxb90— Tim Montgomerie ن (@montie) August 16, 2015
Is Gordon Brown wearing a Fitbit? In the first five minutes of this speech he's walked about three miles— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) August 16, 2015
Pray for this cameraman, currently swinging wildly back and forth to keep up with Gordon Brown's pacing pic.twitter.com/WybLWWxu4t— Conor Pope (@Conorpope) August 16, 2015
DID YOU KNOW? If Gordon Brown had been walking vertically he would be halfway to the Moon by now.— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) August 16, 2015
Gordon Brown's away for a nap now. pic.twitter.com/MFTJMRZlzs— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) August 16, 2015
Although Mr Brown didn't mention Corbyn, the Islington North MP released a statement immediately his speech to refute his points. He said: "It is necessary to be credible but credibility cannot mean an orthodoxy of austerity that chokes off recovery- instead we need a Labour party that stands for growth, investment and innovation across the whole country."
The speech was an uncommon public appearance for Mr Brown who has largely lain low since losing the election in 2010. He last famously intervened in the Scottish referendum debate to make a passionate case for the Union.
Ballot papers have been sent out to party members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters who have until 10 September to vote for the next Labour leader.