This is the letter sent by Ed Miliband to his Doncaster North constituents after he called on his successor Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as leader of the Labour Party.
Dear Labour member,
I am writing to explain to you why I have today called on Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as Leader of the Labour Party.
I have been loyal to Jeremy throughout his tenure as Leader. I resisted calls to speak out against him when he was running for the job and since he was elected. I have backed him 100 per cent.
But my constituents and the country urgently need an effective, united Labour party to try and chart a progressive way forward for Britain after our exit from the European Union. We face grave economic risks and huge uncertainty. The situation has become untenable because the overwhelming majority of members of the Parliamentary party have lost confidence in him.
This is not ideological—-the opposition to him is from all wings of the PLP. It is certainly not about a “Blairite” wing of the party. I believe Jeremy’s views on austerity and inequality are important for the future of the party.
Nor is it unconstitutional—our constitution specifically provides for a Leader needing the support of the parliamentary party and the party in the country. The constitution says that if a Leader loses the support of 20 per cent of the Parliamentary party and they nominate another candidate, there should be a fresh ballot. Jeremy has lost the support of more than 75 per cent of the PLP.
I understand my position will upset some party members. Some who support Jeremy and some who fear this is a distraction from the crisis the country faces. To supporters of Jeremy, my candid view is that a progressive, Left agenda is more likely to be taken forward in a united Labour Party, not a wrecked, divided party. And to those who worry about distraction, we cannot function as an effective Opposition in the current circumstances.
Jeremy has had a profound and lasting influence on the debate about who we are as a party and the causes we need to fight for. I know he is someone who cares deeply about those causes, our party and our country. I hope he will reflect on how he can best serve this agenda at this critical moment for Britain and the Labour Party.
With best wishes