What Jeremy Corbyn has to teach corporate Britain

Tomorrow's Business

Last Saturday, The Times splashed a story that had senior, unnamed, civil service officials concerned that Jeremy Corbyn is too frail to be Prime Minister. He is not up to the job “physically or mentally”, said the paper of record.

Corbyn and friends were suitably angry at this, denying the claims, noting that he runs and cycles a lot and insisting there’s nothing wrong with his memory. (A claim that does invite testing.) Today, when he should have been letting it go, moving on and changing the story, he was still banging on about it, in a somewhat doddery way, calling for an “independent inquiry” into the claims.

Which just serves to keep his name and the word “frail” in the headlines for longer. Big companies don’t fall into this trap too much. They tend to resist persistently drawing attention to perceived failings.

But individual CEOs sometimes can’t help themselves. Hacks figure they are sensitive about a particular issue, press the button and wait for the explosion.

The CEOs are seeking a level of justice they are never going to get.

Tomorrow, Sainsbury has a first quarter trading update, which comes in the wake of the collapse of its merger with Asda. Investors will want to know if CEO Mike Coupe is still the right man to lead the company forward.

If he keeps going on about how unfair the authorities were to block his Asda deal, it’s unlikely to do him any favours. Time to move on.

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