Labour MPs overwhelmingly reject Jeremy Corbyn as resignation calls intensify
Jeremy Corbyn has overwhelmingly lost a vote of no confidence among Labour MPs – amid calls for him to stand down.
Jeremy Corbyn sparked an internal party rift this week when he sacked Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn amid a rumoured leadership challenge in the wake of the EU referendum.
At time of publication, more than 50 MPs have resigned from the front bench – including 20 of Mr Corbyn’s 31 shadow cabinet members, and many of the party’s most prominent figures.
All three of the party’s most senior out politicians – Angela Eagle, Chris Bryant and Nia Grififth – have quit, with left-winger Angela Eagle rumoured to be in contention for a leadership challenge. Lord Cashman, Labour’s envoy on Global LGBT Rights, has also resigned.
Mr Corbyn this afternoon resoundingly lost a confidence vote among the party’s MPs, by a vote of 172 to 40 – with around 16 abstentions. Mr Corbyn attended the meeting to vote for himself, but 80 percent of his MPs called on him to resign.
The leader’s office had insisted the non-binding vote would have no impact on his leadership as he has a mandate from Labour members, but rebels have intensified calls for him to resign.
Chris Bryant told Mr Corbyn in a letter yesterday: “Your inability to give a clear, unambiguous message to Labour voters significantly contributed to the [Brexit] result.
“You left many Labour voters uncertain as to our party’s position. You made speeches that undermined the campaign to stay in the EU.
“You and John McDonnell regularly attacked the Remain campaign. Even on polling day there were people who thought you really wanted us to leave.
“Your ambivalent attitude in the campaign was a betrayal of the Labour Party and the wider Labour movement and it has let down a whole generation of young people who desperately hoped to hear a strong, cogent and inspiring pro-EU message from Labour.”