Emily Thornberry: could Jeremy Corbyn’s number two become PM?

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary is one to watch on the Labour front-benches?

At present, it’s difficult to imagine Jeremy Corbyn leaving his party’s top job. Corbyn has confounded expectation after expectation. In 2015, he came from nowhere to succeed Ed Miliband as Labour leader. One year later, he saw off a challenge from Owen Smith, and a year after that he led his party to Labour’s best electoral performance since 2005.

Compared to Theresa May, and her struggling cabinet, Jeremy Corbyn’s team is beginning to look like a government in waiting.

The next election is not due until 2022. If it happens then, Jeremy Corbyn will be 73 and if it happens in two years-time he will still be entering his eighth decade. There are plenty of old and successful politicians such as Vince Cable, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but if Corbyn wants to transform Britain into a radical, social democratic state, he will need to win a large majority, one that can survive one or two elections thereafter.

If Labour wants to transform Britain, the party will need a government to stand the test of time.

At the same time, if Jeremy Corbyn fails at the next election, his faction will need someone to champion his ideas and take the fight to the Conservatives.

One person who could take over from Corbyn is Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Foreign Secretary is Emily Thornberry. On Wednesday, she gave a widely praised performance at PMQs, and she is currently the favourite to become the next Labour leader after Jeremy Corbyn, according to Oddschecker.

She is followed by Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner, Lisa Nandy, Rebecca Long-Bailley and Dan Jarvis.

Thornberry is one of just 35 MPs to have backed Jeremy Corbyn in 2015, something that will bode well with his supporters, who will no doubt be key in deciding the party's next leader should a new election be held in the coming years. She is a skilled political performer and has stayed loyal to Corbyn during her time in the shadow cabinet.

That all said, she is the current favourite to take over from Jeremy Corbyn, and in the world of Brexit, Trump and Corbyn, the favourite can no longer be seen as the favourite any more.