Corbyn issues message of defiance as 11 quit shadow Cabinet

26th June, 2016 10:38 pm

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to stay on as Labour leader and said he will not “betray the trust” of members despite suffering 11 shadow Cabinet resignations in a day.

Heidi Alexander led the departures following the sacking of Hilary Benn in the early hours this morning for organising opposition to Corbyn’s leadership.

She was joined by Gloria De Piero, Vernon Coaker, Lucy Powell, Seema Malhotra, Ian Murray, Lilian Greenwood, Kerry McCarthy, Charles Falconer, Karl Turner and Chris Bryant, all of whom left their positions throughout the day.

The resignations cross factional lines, with the only true “Blairite” minister to go being Charles Falconer.

Ministers have cited different reasons for their choice, with Chris Bryant explicitly attacking Corbyn’s lacklustre referendum campaign, but Karl Turner saying it was Corbyn’s lack of support among Labour parliamentarians which inspired him to leave.

The Labour leader said he regretted the resignations but said he still had an “overwhelming mandate” from members to continue in his post. He used his statement to say he would fill the remaining posts over the next 24 hours.

“I was elected by hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members and supporters with an overwhelming mandate for a different kind of politics.

“I regret there have been resignations today from my shadow cabinet. But I am not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me – or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them.

“Those who want to change Labour’s leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate.

“Over the next 24 hours I will reshape my shadow cabinet and announce a new leadership team to take forward Labour’s campaign for a fairer Britain – and to get the best deal with Europe for our people.”

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