Disaster for Labour as hacks crush MPs in conference crunch match

Posted On: 
24th September 2017

In In a year to remember, this was a morning to forget for the Labour party. 

Sadiq Khan takes on the FT's Henry Mance as the press ran out 6-0 winners.
Credit: 
PA

An experienced squad featuring big names such as Steve Rotheram, Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan was outfought, out-thought and comprehensively outscored by Fleet Street's finest. 

In the plush surroundings of Brighton and Hove Albion's Lancing training ground, grizzled Lobby skipper Rob Merrick opened the scoring with a crisp finish after wing wizardry from Sky News cameraman Ramzi Bedj-Bedj - so good they named him twice.

Bedj-Bedj himself then outpaced veteran centre-backs Rotheram and Graham Jones to double the lobby lead.

Soon after it was 3-0 as the Sun's midfield powerhouse Cyrus Engineer took his time before laying it off to the I paper's Richard Vaughan, who just about managed to squeeze it past gargantuan Labour stopper Toby Perkins.

Further efforts from Engineer and Bedj-Bedj took the Lobby into the break with a frankly immodest 5-0 lead. 

Clearly suffering with the absence of Ed Balls, the Labour team offered little going forwards in a one-sided first half, their closest effort a spectacular volley from Manchester mayor Burnham that crept just past the Lobby upright.

Operating on the right wing, Khan showed some neat touches but was well-marshalled by the FT's Henry 'Raider' Mance and PoliticsHome's very own John Ashmore.

The second half was a markedly different affair, with the tiring MPs' legs replaced by a string of youthful party staffers. 

The goal rush was not quite over though, with the FT's Henry 'Raider' Mance bombing down down the left before tucking home to make it 6-0 - a landslide victory to make Theresa May weep with envy.