General election: Jeremy Corbyn dodges question over whether he would stand down if Labour is defeated on 8 June

'We are campaigning to win this election, that’s the only question now,' the Labour leader says

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The Independent Online

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to say whether he will stand down if Labour loses the 8 June general election

The Labour Party leader welcomed Theresa May's announcement, arguing that his party will offer "an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy". 

But asked if he would stand down as leader if the party lost the election, he said: “We are campaigning to win this election, that’s the only question now.”  

Asked whether he would be the next Prime Minister, he said: “If we win the election, yes. I want to lead a government that will transform this country, give real hope to everybody and above all bring about a principle of justice for everybody and economic opportunities for everybody.” 

He added: “We will take our message to every part of this country and we will challenge the government to debate these issues in every town and city in this country”. 

The Labour leader indicated that he would move his party to back the Government in a parliamentary vote on whether an election should be called.

Labour’s support is vital for Ms May, who needs the support of two-thirds of Parliament's 650 MPs to trigger an election before 2020. 

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first," Mr Corbyn said in a statement.

Ms May’s announcement came days after a new poll showed the Conservatives were 21 points ahead of Labour, giving the party the greatest lead while in government since 1983. 

Were that reflected on election day, it would mean that dozens of MPs had lost their seats.