Thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters march on Parliament against Labour Party leadership challenge

The Labour leader called on people to unite together to oppose racism but did not address the challenge to his leadership

Andrew Griffin
Monday 27 June 2016 20:47 BST
Corbyn speaks at rally in support of his leadership

Thousands of people have marched on Parliament Square to express support for Jeremy Corbyn.

The event took place during a Parliamentary Labour Party meeting that included a vote on a no confidence motion against the Labour Party leader. Following the meeting, Mr Corbyn came from inside the Houses of Parliament to address the crowd, which protestors said consisted of up to 10,000 people.

Mr Corbyn asked supporters to stay unified amid challenges from inside his party as well as outside, during a speech given from on top of a customised fire engine. But he didn’t mention the challenge against his leadership, instead talking in broad terms.

"Can we all agree we are going to unite together as one people, one society, one community, to oppose racism?” he asked the crowd. "Don't let the people who wish us ill divide us,” he said.

He spoke about ”the media” and “those who wish us ill”, urging attendees to stay unified. But he didn’t directly address any of the events that have occurred since Friday, which has included the resignation of much of his shadow cabinet and public leadership challenges.

"Stay together, strong and united for the kind of world we want to live in,” he told attendees.

Mr Corbyn was preceded by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who did address the challenges to the Labour leadership over the weekend.

"Let me say this, let me make this absolutely clear to you,” Mr McDonnell said. "Jeremy Corbyn was elected only nine months ago with the biggest mandate any elected leader has had from the rank and file membership of their party. The biggest. We call that democracy.

"What we've seen over the last few days is a small number of MPs seeking to undermine the democratic decisions of the Labour Party members and the Labour and trade union movement.

"Let me make it absolutely clear. Jeremy Corbyn is not resigning, he's staying."

He praised shadow cabinet members including Diane Abbott, who has remained in the cabinet alongside John McDonnell and others who spoke during the event.

Mr Corbyn followed speakers including Dennis Skinner, who spoke to huge cheers having said he’d only heard of the meeting five minutes before he arrived.

All of those speakers came from a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, inside Westminster. Speakers suggested that those inside the meeting could hear the event outside.

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