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'Please stand down': Labour MPs tell Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately after disastrous election night

Anger at humiliated leader's plan to stay on for 'process of reflection' - which could last many months

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Friday 13 December 2019 09:43 GMT
Margaret Hodge criticises Corbyn saying Labour has become the 'nasty party' after crushing general election defeat

Labour figures are piling pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to quit immediately after the party’s election disaster, amid anger that he will stay for “a process of reflection”.

Several MPs and defeated candidates spoke out against their leader – blaming him personally for the heavy defeat and calling for the rebuilding operation to begin straight away.

Margaret Hodge, who held her London seat, tweeted: “Corbyn talking about a period of ‘reflection. I’ve reflected. You failed. Please stand down.”

Calling Boris Johnson’s triumph a “failure not just of Mr Corbyn himself, but Corbynism”, she told the BBC: “The people have now spoken and given it a resounding no and we have to listen to that.”

Phil Wilson, who lost Tony Blair’s former stronghold in Sedgefield, said: “I think he should consider his position, given this is the second election he has lost for the Labour party.

He added: “It’s time to move on. Labour voters don’t want to see a hard-left Labour Party.”

And Anna McMorrin, who held on in Cardiff North, asked if Mr Corbyn should resign immediately, said: “Yeah, I think we need to rebuild quickly now, or start the process at least of rebuilding the party.”

The calls came amid suggestions that Mr Corbyn might attempt to cling on for as long as next autumn’s party conference, despite Labour’s most calamitous defeat since the Second World War.

His allies took to the airwaves immediately to try to prop him up by arguing it was being on the wrong side of the Brexit debate – rather than personal unpopularity – that caused it.

The theory was dismissed by Ian Murray, a former shadow Scotland secretary, among others, who said: “Every door I knocked on, and my team and I spoke to 11,000 people, mentioned Corbyn.

“Not Brexit but Corbyn. I've been saying this for years. The outcome is that we've let the country down and we must change course and fast.”

Ms Hodge said she was “really angry”, arguing voters had reacted with “disbelief” to Labour’s economic plans and “didn’t trust” Mr Corbyn on national security.

“Labour has become the nasty party and I am one of the victims with the antisemitism,” she added.

Earlier, Mr Corbyn defended his “extremely popular” policies, blamed Brexit and announced only that he would stand down before the UK next goes to the polls.

“I want to also make it clear that I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” he said, as he accepted victory in his Islington North constituency.

“I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward.

“And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”

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