WHEN is a person too old to lead a political party?

We ask the question following strong rebuttals from Labour, who insisted Jeremy Corbyn is "extremely vigorous" and will lead the party into the next general election, amid claims he is too old for the job.

The leader’s spokesman denied the 68-year-old had a "senior moment" at Wednesday's PMQs as he appeared to give a statement rather than ask a question, and said reports Mr Corbyn would not be able to continue in the demanding role were nonsense. It follows anonymous shadow cabinet briefings that Mr Corbyn’s age will become an issue by the next general election.

Huge progress continues to be made in killing off tired old stereotypes that once regarded a person’s sexual orientation, gender, race or disability as reasons why their life chances should be restricted.

Is age the last taboo? Would any right-thinking person be stupid enough to say that Theresa May is too female to be PM, or Ireland’s Leo Varadkar too gay to be Taoiseach? We would hope not.

If he wins in 2022 Mr Corbyn would be the oldest PM ever to assume office for the first time, although Gladstone was 84 when his final term ended, and when Churchill quit No.10 following ill health he was 80.

It is not so long ago that top jobs in politics were dominated by youthful figures such as Tony Blair, David Cameron and William Hague. Considering the huge mistakes they all made at various times in their careers we should all feel reassured by the sight of some grey hairs at the despatch box in 2018.