UPDATE: Ann Coffey and Margaret Hodge are the two MPs to have tabled the letter of no confidence to PLP chair John Cryer who will consider whether to accept it for discussion on Monday, ahead of a possible vote on Tuesday. You can read the full letter at the bottom of this article.
Furious Labour MPs are plotting to mount a leadership challenge to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
The referendum saw millions of votes in favour of Brexit from Labour’s traditional working class heartlands, sparking fears that the party was moving away from its core support. One source described the mood among Labour MPs as “mutinous”.
There are now at least two strands of opposition to Corbyn’s leadership within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), with some waiting to see what happens at this morning’s Shadow Cabinet before making a decision on what to do next.
Others, however, have already moved to trigger a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity. They hope that they will be able to carry out a secret ballot on Corbyn’s leadership at Monday’s meeting of the PLP – although it is not clear whether they would have to wait until the morning after. There is a belief that a majority of Labour MPs would be against Corbyn in a private vote.
The exact process after that point is not entirely clear, but MPs believe it would at the very least lead to a new leadership contest, in which the NEC could have power to decide whether Corbyn needs MP nominations once more – although the leadership office claims he would be on the ballot automatically.
There appears to be general agreement among plotters that if Corbyn or John McDonnell stood, they should fall in line behind one single challenger. However, there is currently no consensus as to who this would be, with at least four names in the frame.
Were Corbyn to win another leadership contest – which seems likely, given his continued overwhelming level of support from the party’s grassroots – some MPs think the rift between the backbenches and the leader would be “irrevocable”, and would either lead to a split in the party, or to him resigning from his position within a year. After last night’s result, a sizeable number believe that going into an election with Corbyn as leader would be the single worst outcome for Labour.
UPDATE II: This is not a formal way of removing a Labour leader, which can only be done via an open leadership challenge. You can read the full letter here:
We wish to submit a motion for urgent consideration by the Parliamentary Labour Party as follows:
“That this PLP has no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
Proposed by: Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP
Seconded by: Ann Coffey MP
We would be grateful if you could confirm receipt of this email. Given the importance of this issue I would urge you to bring forward consideration of this motion for discussion on Monday 27th June with a ballot of colleagues on Tuesday 28th June.
Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey