| Ayesha Hazarika |
On 30 June 2016, she appeared on the BBC's "Victoria Derbyshire" show with Ann Coffey MP calling for Jeremy Corbyn to resign, while Mark Serwotka of the PCS union and James Schneider of Momentum argued Corbyn should stay as Leader of the Opposition.
Corbyn coup "would fail"
On 23 May 2016, Ayesha Hazarika mused:
Whether we like it or not, we have to understand that the membership is still really into Jeremy Corbyn (as a recent Times poll confirmed) and that love-rush is going nowhere for a while.
And we can’t just bypass the party as tempting as that may be. Because of the new rules, the members are the gatekeepers to the leadership – so there is no point in a kamikaze-like attempt at a coup. Yes, it would be interesting to watch but it would make the media and the Tories’ day but ultimately, it would be embarrassing and it would fail. And to be fair to Jeremy – he won. He won big. And just because we don’t like it, we can’t magically hoof him out when the rules and the membership are against that.
Instead of getting bitter, we need to get better. Instead of holding out for a hero and trying to magic up a new leader, we need to go away and do all the boring difficult things we know we have to do but haven’t done for a long time.
In October 2012, actor Hugh Grant directed a four-letter outburst at Ayesha Hazarika while discussing his campaign for good conduct and ethics in the media. The incident happened in a crowded bar at the Midland Hotel in Manchester at about midnight when, in his role as head of the Hacked Off campaign into press practices, the actor visited the Labour party conference to lobby party leader Ed Miliband.
A well-placed Labour source said:
- "Grant and Ayesha were having a discussion about the next stage in press regulation. She was trying to explain something to him and he didn’t like it. He suddenly got angry and called her a f****** a*******. Ayesha hit back and told him he had been “pretty f****** rude. He made a fulsome apology which she accepted."
Ayesha Hazarika is a second-generation Indian immigrant, brought up in Scotland who went on to be spin doctor for Patricia Hewitt when she was Trade Secretary. It's a background that promises much, though she leaves the politics out of it.
Instead, she makes plenty of her childhood identity crisis as the only Asian in the village – well, the posh end of Glasgow.
It provides her with a strong opening line and an equally sharp closer, although the set sometimes flounders in between, with some dubious puns and unfocused routines about Indian parents’ pushiness.
Hazarika’s sweet-natured friendliness helps detract from this, although her delivery isn’t yet consistently punchy, and she emits a little breathless laugh after every punchline which quickly loses its charm.
While there’s still work to be done – and she could certainly stretch herself more in the writing – her chatty set is certainly jolly enough.
- "Victoria Derbyshire 01:36 - 01:47" 30/06/2016
- "Ayesha Hazarika: Labour moderates need to wake up and smell the soy flat white"
- "Hugh Grant forced to apologise over four-letter row with Labour aide...in bar room debate on ethics and good conduct"
- "Ayesha Hazarika : Original Review"
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