Europe

Is Jeremy Corbyn finished? Labour leader ready to resign claims shadow cabinet member

The Labour leader is currently over immense pressure over his Brexit position and handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis. Mr Corbyn has suggested he will remain neutral if a second EU membership referendum takes place whilst he is Prime Minister, angering many in his party who back a remain vote.

According to The Sunday Telegraph one shadow cabinet minister thinks Mr Corbyn is considering standing down from the leadership.

Speaking to the paper they said: “He does look as though he’s ready to pack it in”.

The frontbencher added “we have passed the high water mark of Corbynism” and suggested the Labour leaders allies are using the party conference in Brighton to “secure the succession”.

On Friday key allies of Mr Corbyn, including Momentum founder Jon Lansman, launched an audacious attempt to abolish the position of Labour deputy leader.

This would remove current holder Tom Watson, who has urged the leadership to take a toucher line on anti-Semitism and embrace remaining in the EU.

However on Saturday Mr Corbyn suggested a review into the deputy leadership position as a compromise.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph a shadow cabinet member described the developments as “an admission they think Jeremy is going” from Mr Corbyn’s allies.

They added: “They clearly think that Jeremy’s position is in peril, one way or another”.

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Mr Watson said he was “disappointed” about the attempt to remove him adding “we’ve had a bad start to our conference”.

The Labour deputy leader asserted: “We’re supposed to be here this week to fight Boris Johnson. I think it’s been undermined on day one.”

Senior Labour figures reacted with outrage at the attempt to remove Mr Watson, which sparked renewed speculation about a party split.

On Twitter Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, commented: “An eve of election conference. The country crying out for opposition to the Tories.

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“But purge Tom Watson for reflecting Labour members and voters views on Brexit? Tear our party apart?

“If true totally f**king insane. And I’ve never sworn on Twitter before.”

Former Labour leader Ed Milband added: “The move to abolish the deputy leader post without warning or debate is undemocratic, wrong and should not happen.

“Those who came up with the idea for the eve of Labour Conference have taken leave of their senses.”

Mr Watson was elected as Labour’s deputy leader in September 2015, at the same time Mr Corbyn became leader.

He was a strong supporter of ‘Remain’ during the 2016 referendum on the UK’s EU membership.

The attempt to remove Mr Watson was also attacked by Labour backbencher Jess Phillips, who claimed: “There’s a desperate attempt to control and expel anyone who has an independent thought”.

Another Labour MP, Wes Streeting, added: “Labour Conference this week needs to put the party on a general election footing, talking to the country about our vision for Britain.

“For Jon Landsman and People’s Momentum to try and remove our deputy leader Tom Watson isn’t just outrageous, it’s self-destructive and must stop.”

Mr Corbyn has pledged a Labour Government would negotiate a new Brexit deal, and put that to the British people in a referendum with remaining in the EU as the other option.

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