After election ‘taken over by Brexit’, Corbyn to step down as Labour leader in early 2020

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Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he will quit as Labour leader in the early part of next year after the party suffered its worst general election defeat since 1935.

“This election was taken over ultimately by Brexit”

Corbyn said:

The National Executive will have to meet, of course, in the very near future and it is up to them. It will be in the early part of next year. …

I have pride in our manifesto that we put forward, and all the policies we put forward, which actually had huge public support.

But this election was taken over ultimately by Brexit and we as a party represent people who voted both Remain and Leave.

Read on...

My whole strategy was to reach out beyond the Brexit divide to try and bring people together, because ultimately the country has to come together.

Labour lost a string of previous strongholds to the Tories, many in areas that voted for Brexit. These losses have pushed Corbyn to say he will not lead Labour into another general election.

Speaking after retaining his Islington North seat, Corbyn stressed:

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.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Allies of the Labour leader insisted the defeat was down to the inability to overcome differences over Brexit rather than a rejection of Corbyn’s left-wing policy programme.

The party was left with just 203 seats – down from the 262 it won in the 2017 general election under Corbyn’s leadership and the 243 it held when parliament was dissolved in November.

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  • Show Comments
    1. I’m very sad for those who share our progressive values and for our ‘natural’ voters who chose Johnson over Jeremy. Jeremy is one rare politician I trust (still do) and I’m sad he’ll be no more as a leader. But we must not let the progressive movement inspired by him whither away. And the focus should be on this now.

      Already some are plotting to kill off our progress movement. It’s sickening to see Alan Johnson, Jacki Smith, Hodge, Toynbee (not least Saddiq Khan) publicly blaming JC for this abysmal result. I even suspect they are somewhat delighted by this result. But the good thing is every single one of their centrist gits were also humiliated. That means we have strong evidence against those pining for the reversal to status-quo.

      Looking back, Labour’s strategy of chasing Putney’s votes at the expense of our traditional voters toast us. I supported and (still do) Brexit (but not the Johnson’s or May’s deal. I would rather leave on WTO terms) and not happy about this second referendum thing especially there is a good possibility that we may never leave the EU. But tried to justify my vote for Labour with other brilliant progressive policies and the personality of Jeremy. On the other hand, our traditional voters seem to justify their votes for Tories with Brexit. I don’t believe for one minute that they are charmed by Johnson or trust him. No one gives a fuck about them. So they will not give a fuck about whatever is said of them.

      JC thinks the strategy is reasonable. But I’m not convinced entirely. After all if the democratic will of a political party is to shaft the democratic will of the public of whom it is supposed to be a servant, then this party doesn’t deserve to be elected. Gareth Snell was right about one thing though. Some (perhaps a lot of them) in the cabinet with an eye to future leadership push for this second referendum, effectively boxing Corbyn in. I’m somewhat pissed off with McDonnell and Abbott. They should not be anywhere near the next shadow cabinet.

    2. And that Starmer git too. He should also stay away. And the remain backing momentum (Lansman, Parker et al) should also reflect on it. The true progressives, the true left should never embrace the neo-liberal EU. You are pining for the EU but they don’t give a flying fuck about you, Jeremy Corbyn and I could say they even hate the momentum style politics as they experienced with Greece in 2015.

    3. Take a look at the figures in the 42 seats Labour lost. On average 5,000 votes at most made the difference. That is, about 250,000 voters made the difference. Had they stuck with Labour, Johnson would not have a majority. 250,000 out of more than 30 million. That gives the Tories a headache: if they lose the support of this narrow tranche, they’ may have had it.
      Why did these people vote Tory or Brexit? Because they have lost touch. It is as if a man is sleeping rough and along comes a philanthropist who says: “I’ll give you a house, a job, make sure you have a doctor, a good school for your kids, the chance for them to go to university and work abroad, care in old age and even free broadband…” And the rough sleeper replies: “Fuck off, I just want to leave the EU.”
      People have been bamboozled. They imagine leaving the EU will solve all their problems. They have been left behind and they are resentful, afraid and confused. They seek a simple answer: foreigners. If only we can be free and independent. Hence they become monomanic: leaving the EU is the only issue. Of course, they feel their vote was ignored, but by whom? It was May who failed to agree the cross-party consensus which could have had us out of the EU fast. But in the EU or out, climate change is our greatest threat. In the EU or out poverty is destroying communities. The EU is lousy in many ways, but leaving it is not a panacea.
      250,000 votes. They have delivered us up to five years of pain. BJ will follow his instincts and they are appalling. What is needed is political education. Grimsby is not falling into a black hole because of aliens or fairies. Nine years of Tory battering is the cause. So why did people in Grimsby vote Tory? Because the basics of political consciousness have withered. The basic is this: great individual or corporate wealth is an affront to democracy because it can buy more power than millions of votes. If Branson rings BJ tomorrow they will speak. What if you try to ring? Money is not a thing, it is a relationship. If a few have huge wealth, the rest will suffer and those at the bottom will suffer most. Yes, leave the EU if that is what you want, but don’t take your eyes off the crucial relationship. In or out, democratic equality requires that wealth be evenly distributed and that is just, because it is the work of the common folk which produces it. Adam Smith knew what matters: The wealth of nations, not of individuals. He said the pursuit of personal wealth is “a delusion” and he castigated what he called “the vile maxim of the masters of mankind”: “everything for ourselves nothing for anyone else.” BJ has had to defend the NHS and public services to avoid failure but he no more believes in them than in faithful monogamy. The vile maxim of mankind is his creed. Why didn’t those 250,000 voters understand that? Because they have lost their political bearings. We need to educate them in the basics. Democratic equality is the doctrine which serves their needs.

      1. 5000 votes is a fuck of a lot when most constituencies are between 70000 and 80000.
        The truth is the public in particular in labour heartlands hate Corbyn who is without doubt the most ill equipped man ever to run the Labour Party in living memory.
        Quicker he is back on his allotment with Tom Watson the better.

    4. Your figure of 250K is disingenuous. The swing figure is closer to the truth. Almost every single seat won or lost by Labour saw a huge swing from the previous election. Did you consider using that swing figure in your analysis?

      And I also find the analogy of Blyth Valley and Grimsby town voters to rough sleepers is shamelessly patronizing. If you don’t change this mindset, forget about winning their trust and hence the next election. ‘We need to educate them in the basics.’ Ou la la….. My advice to you is instead of quoting rawish Marxist’s line about money not a thing, relationship, learn something from a proper leader and true revolutionary, Lenin.

    5. Corbyn legacy. 5 years of hard right government with a stinking majority.

      If he has anything to do with the rebuilding of the wreckage of his Labour Party, that will become 10 or 15 years.
      You had your chance Jezza and your disciples. For everyone’s sake get out of frontline politics.

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