Jeremy Corbyn faces no-confidence motion from MPs

Posted by Warren Fyfe on June 28, 2016 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Labour MPs are to vote on a motion of no confidence in the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as another party frontbencher quits their post.

This comes after Mr Corbyn told supporters at a rally outside Parliament to not “let those people who wish us ill divide us”.

Shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter is the latest to leave his post, after a mass walkout from the shadow cabinet.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Corbyn was “not going anywhere”.

He accused Mr Corbyn’s opponents of trying to “subvert democracy”, and said the party leader would stand in any election if a challenger came forward.

The no-confidence vote being held by Labour on Tuesday is not binding.

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says Mr Slaughter’s resignation is different to the others, because he describes himself as a “comrade” of Mr Corbyn, and decided to resign only after consulting his local party activists, who agreed.

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Image caption

Andy Slaughter resigned in a letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Also, the first senior figure in Labour local government is now calling for Mr Corbyn to go.

Dave Sparks, a councillor in Dudley and a former chair of the Local Government Association, has warned that if Mr Corbyn stays, Labour will be wiped out.

He told the BBC that if the leadership does not change both its leader and its course, the party is looking at its support disappearing in England as it has melted away in Scotland.

Mr Corbyn faced calls to resign at a meeting in the House of Commons on Monday after more than 20 members of his shadow cabinet and a similar number of junior ministers walked out, questioning his performance during the EU referendum and ability to lead the party.

Media captionJohn McDonnell: ‘Jeremy Corbyn is not resigning’

But Mr Corbyn hit back, telling grassroots supporters from the Momentum campaign group in a rally outside Parliament to stand up for the causes they believed in – including social justice, economic equality and human rights.

“Don’t let the media divide us; don’t let those people who wish us ill divide us,” he said. “Stay together, strong and united, for the kind of world we want to live in.”

Speaking at the same event, Mr McDonnell accused a “handful of MPs” of trying to “subvert” the party and challenged them to put up or shut up.

“The reason for this is that this is not about one individual. This is about the democracy of the (Labour) movement.”

Media captionJeremy Corbyn is met with shouts of “resign, resign” during the Commons debate

Earlier in Parliament – responding to a statement from David Cameron on the EU referendum – Mr Corbyn said the “country will thank neither the benches in front of me nor those behind me [where Labour MPs sit] for indulging in internal factional manoeuvring at this time”.

Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle, Maria Eagle (culture) Lisa Nandy (energy) and Owen Smith (work and pensions) are among the latest members of the front bench to resign. In the past 36 hours, 23 out of 31 shadow cabinet members have quit.

Earlier, his deputy Tom Watson told him he had “no authority” among MPs and faced the prospect of a leadership challenge.

The talks between the two men were described as “civil” by a spokesman for the leader, but a senior Labour source said Mr Corbyn was left in no doubt he had lost the support of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Several Labour MPs have cited the possibility of a general election in the next six months – following on from the election of a new Conservative leader – as the reason why Mr Corbyn must now consider his position.

And on Monday morning he announced a reshaped shadow cabinet to replace those that had walked out.

The new shadow cabinet line-up includes:

  • Shadow foreign secretary – Emily Thornberry
  • Shadow health secretary – Diane Abbott
  • Shadow education secretary – Pat Glass
  • Shadow transport secretary – Andy McDonald
  • Shadow defence secretary – Clive Lewis
  • Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury – Rebecca Long-Bailey
  • Shadow international development secretary – Kate Osamor
  • Shadow environment food and rural affairs secretary – Rachel Maskell
  • Shadow voter engagement and youth affairs – Cat Smith
  • Shadow Northern Ireland secretary – Dave Anderson

Shadow cabinet: Who’s in, who’s out?

Shadow cabinet ministers who walked out on Monday also included Luciana Berger (mental health), Nia Griffith (Wales) and Kate Green (equalities). A slew of junior spokesmen and women, including former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer, have also left their positions.

It comes after 12 members of the shadow cabinet quit on Sunday, including shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander, shadow education secretary Lucy Powell and shadow Commons leader Chris Bryant.

The walkouts – in a bid to oust Mr Corbyn – came after the sacking at the weekend of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who told Mr Corbyn he had lost confidence in his leadership.

But Momentum, the campaign group that grew out of Mr Corbyn’s successful leadership bid, has said 4,000 people attended a rally outside Parliament later to voice their support for the Labour leader.

And Mr Corbyn has also been backed by the Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36647458

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