Corbyn ‘no confidence’ vote expected… but grassroots rally for Labour leader Jezza
Longstanding supporter and newly-appointed Shadow Health Secretary Diane Abbott dared her Corbyn-critic colleagues to mount a full leadership challenge to dethrone the Islington MP.
Her comments followed a 10,000-strong demonstration outside Parliament on Monday evening in defense of Corbyn’s position.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today program, Abbott said: “It has no meaning. MPs don't choose the leader of the Labour Party, the party does.
“I think it is really sad that colleagues have chosen to stage this three-ring circus because they don’t want to have a leadership election because they are not certain of winning a leadership election.”
She insisted “the way to resolve this is to have a leadership election.”
The no confidence motion has no official status under the Labour Party rulebook, which instead calls for leadership changes to come from a direct challenger backed by 46 or more MPs.
Abbott did, however, concede that Corbyn could lose the no confidence vote.
“The party members are going to look dimly at people who unleashed this kind of mayhem,” she added.
“If you are elected leader of the party, the party has a reasonable expectation that MPs will rally behind you.
“That’s what they thought would happen this time.
“Hopefully if Jeremy wins a second time, [MPs] will actually do the right thing.”
Corbyn stands defiant despite 47 MPs quitting their shadow cabinet positions over the last 48 hours – the latest being Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter MP.
The Labour-supporting Daily Mirror tabloid was also one of the deserting forces, using up their Tuesday front page with a call for Corbyn to quit “for the sake of your party… and for the sake of your country.”