Keir Starmer's hopes of a triumphant party conference were derailed before he even set foot in Brighton. His ambitious deputy let slip that his proposed rule changes for future leadership elections had bit the dust, meaning that although a confrontation with the far left would be averted - his own leadership was severely undermined.
A small posse holding Labour placards greeted his arrival at the conference, but it was it was a pitiful scene and his desperate attempt at levity came across as, well, desperate. Starmer was flanked by his treacherous deputy Rayner, national campaign co-ordinator Shabana Mahmood and party chair Anneliese Dodds. As he spoke about the parlous state of the country a reporter could be heard asking about his disastrous u-turn regarding the leadership rule changes.
Starmer has nothing to offer anyone, not in his party or the country at large.