Corbyn is still putting together a new frontbench as speculation rises about the intentions of Angela Eagle and Owen Smith. While the Labour Party is in limbo, we will bring you all the news as it comes.
Friday – 15.44
Hello all, here’s your afternoon round-up of what’s gone on within the Labour party so far today.
1) Angela Rayner has been promoted to shadow Education Secretary
Jeremy bringing together Education Women & Equalities in Shadow Cabinet to directly hold Nicky Morgan to account. Honoured to serve my Party
— Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) July 1, 2016
Rayner will be taking on both roles, mirroring Nicky Morgan holding both positions in the Government.
2) Emily Thornberry apologised to the Israeli embassy for Jeremy Corbyn’s comments about the State in his speech at the anti-Semitism report launch event.
Corbyn said “our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu Government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations”. His comments dismayed many who saw this as comparing the Israel with ISIS, though Corbyn’s office clarified his statement as saying people should not be held responsible for the actions of states or groups around the world on the basis of ethnicity.
3) Labour MPs have been asked to pass on to the central office threatening emails they’ve been receiving following reports that many are aggressive letters in the current political crisis.
4) This video was released which shows Jeremy Corbyn admitting he saw activist Marc Wadsworth harass Ruth Smeeth at the launch of Labour’s anti-Semitism report yesterday, and then apologising for Smeeth’s reaction.
When asked if he saw the incident between the activist and Smeeth, Corbyn said “Yeah, yeah I did. I sent you a text.”
5) Since then, Wadsworth has told the media he had been expelled from the Labour party.
6) Momentum have announced a series of emergency rallies in support of Jeremy Corbyn. Beyond emergency planning meetings, they’ve announced the following rallies:
MANCHESTER rally, 6pm, in Piccadilly Gardens
LIVERPOOL rally, 12pm, at BBC Radio Merseyside, Hanover St.
EXETER rally, 10am, at Bedford Square, EX4.
PLYMOUTH rally, 2pm, at The Sundial, PL1.
PENZANCE rally, 12pm, Lloyds building TR18.
NORWICH rally, 10.30am, at Haymarket, NR2.
17.22 Momentum have come out in support of the Chakrabarti report, saying it dues much to restore “intelligent and sensitive engagement” with the Jewish community.
17.04 Also, we’re told to expect the list of shadow cabinet appointments “very soon”. While Corbyn did originally promise on Sunday evening that the appointments would take plae over 24 hours, he has been dogged by further resignations through the week.
There are particular concerns about the Scotland team, as Labour’s only Scottish MP, Ian Murray, stood down from his shadow cabinet role.
17.00 Corbyn has invited Ruth Smeeth in to discuss the today’s incident at the anti-Semitism report launch. They will meet this evening. Shami Chakrabarti has already spoken to her.
Touched that Shami Chakrabarti is with me in Parliament apologising unreservedly for the way I was treated at her press conference
— Ruth Smeeth (@RuthSmeeth) June 30, 2016
Earlier today Smeeth called on Corbyn to stand down after he “stood by and did absolutely nothing” while she was harassed by a member of the public who accused her of being part of a media conspiracy.
16.20 Corbyn has emailed party members calling for unity. He says “Our people need Labour Party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite. As leader it is my continued commitment to dedicate our party’s activity to that goal.”
Unlike the email, in his tweet with the same statement he spells his own name incorrectly.
15.45 You can still expect a challenge to Corbyn but it seems it won’t be today.
Angela Eagle has postponed her announcement, which had been pencilled in for this afternoon. She met Owen Smith met this morning to discuss the stalemate that has occurred between the two potential challengers. Both believe they have enough MP backers (50+) to trigger a leadership contest.
14.36 Ruth Smeeth has released a statement about the anti-Semitism event today. She condemns Corbyn for “doing nothing” in the face of conspiracy theories about Jewish people – like those highlighted in the report.
“This morning, at the launch of the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism, I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy’.
“It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing.
“People like this have no place in our party or our movement and must be opposed. Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews. I have written to the General Secretary of the Labour Party and the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party to formally complain about this morning’s events.
“No-one from the Leader’s office has contacted me since the event, which is itself a catastrophic failure of leadership. I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country.”
14.27 Angela Eagle was rumoured to be making her leadership big at 3pm today, but since then we’ve hear that she is postponing, saying it is an important decision and not to be rushed, as well as noting that much attention today will go to the Tories’ increasingly entertaining leadership contest.
13.00 Jon Ashworth, shadow minister without portfolio, has given his reaction to Boris Johnson’s shock decision to pull out of the race to lead the “failed” Tory government.
“Michael has seen Boris up close so knows he’s not the man; Theresa thinks none of them have got leadership skills; Stephen says they’re out of touch; Liam thinks none of them have the right policies; and Boris will think whatever you want, as long as you pick him.
“The truth is they’re all right: this is a Tory Government which has failed.
“The Tory party offer no hope to working people. After six years of failure ordinary people are worse off and the NHS is going backwards. Simply rearranging the Tory deckchairs will do nothing to erase their dismal failures.”
11.55 Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth has left the anti-Semitism event in tears after an audience member has accused of of “colluding” with The Daily Telegraph to undermine Corbyn.
11.44 However, some are voicing concern about a comment from Corbyn which some say compares Israel with ISIS
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu Government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations.”
11.40 Questions about Corbyn’s leadership are reportedly banned at the event.
11.36 Corbyn has used his speech at the report to condemn racism in the strongest words, but also to invoke his mandate from the membership and the two thirds of Labour supporters who voted Remain. He says:
“The Labour Party is built on the values of solidarity, social justice, equality, internationalism and human rights. That is why I have devoted my life to it, and why nine months ago, I was honoured to be elected leader by over a quarter of a million people. That is, by the way, substantially more than the entire electorate that will have the right to pick the Conservative Prime Minister this Autumn.
“Whatever your views on the outcome of the referendum campaign – and two thirds of Labour supporters voted Remain – we need to reflect for a few moments on some of the hateful language used by some of the most prominent participants in it.
“Boris Johnson, current favourite to lead the Tory party, compared Hitler’s murderous tyranny with the European project created from its ashes and questioned Barack Obama’s motives because of his “part-Kenyan heritage”.
“That was no dog whistle. That was a fog horn – a classic racist trope – casting doubt on someone’s motivation because of their race.
“The Justice Secretary Michael Gove compared pro-Remain economists to Nazi collaborators, a startling example of the way in which the Nazi regime and the Holocaust can be minimized, trivialized or even forgotten by ill-judged comparisons.
“And Nigel Farage warned of mass sex attacks should the Remain Campaign win, calling it the “nuclear bomb” of the Brexit campaign. Is it only me who just doesn’t find him funny any more?
“These are hateful comments – no question. They are unworthy of the millions who voted to Leave, not out of xenophobia or racism, but often as a desperate response – yes to austerity, but also to years of being ignored and left behind by the Westminster elite.
“The people of Britain – and especially the young – need a strong, united, principled and kind Labour Party more than ever. They didn’t crash the banks, heat up the planet or start the wars of the past decade or so. But the risk is that they will have to work harder for longer, quite possibly for less pay, because of what the powerful have done in their name.”
11.30 Back at the report launch, Corbyn has taken the stage. He says “I will continue as Labour leader”, adding a joke – “we’ve all had a torrid few days, or at least I have.”
11.21 ICYMI Alan Johnson has written to his constituents explaining his anti-Corbyn stance.
“I understand why those who voted for Corbyn feel aggrieved by a no confidence vote,” he writes, “but we can’t carry on like this.”
“Labour MPs, including Diana and Karl [Johnson and Turner, the other Labour MPs in the Hull region], could have opted for a quiet life but this would betray the people desperate for a Labour government.”
11.15 The Chakrabarti report is being released today. When it was first announced, her independence was called into question as she is a member of the party. It looks like she is trying to quell that speculation now, saying at the launch “this report has not been subject to a shred of interference from anyone.”
10.27 The division in the party is seen at every level – over 500 councillors have signed a letter urging Corbyn to step down. This comes at the time a rival letter is published with hundreds of councillors coming out in support of his leadership.
08.58 Labour MPs are having out the leadership argument in today’s media.
John McDonnell has written a rousing defence of Corbyn’s position, saying MPs cannot outweigh the membership.
“The truth is that Jeremy is not standing down. In the Labour Party our members are sovereign. There was an election held and a decision made, and 172 people cannot outweigh a quarter of a million others. ”
Jamie Reed has written (behind the Times’ paywall) a plea for Corbyn to step down. He criticised the leader for his role in the EU referendum result, as argues Corbyn has tried to divide MPs from the membership.
“You will never be the leader of our country and have no ambition to do so, but I now urge you to muster the necessary dignity with which to follow the Prime Minister’s example and resign your position.”
08.22 We’re also hearing rumours Owen Smith is considering running for the leadership. Those close to him say he has the necessary numbers of MPs supporting him already.
He may be ore appealing to Labour members, as he didn’t vote for the Iraq war or for airstrikes against Syria. Those who are inspired by Corbyn’s anti-war internationalist outlook may prefer him over Angela Eagle, who voted in favour of both interventions.
08.10 Good morning again everyone!
Angela Eagle is expected to launch her leadership bid at 3pm and the Chakrabarti report is going to be released today. We’ll keep you posted with both and any more updates throughout the day.
22.50 Corbyn and McDonnell struck a defiant tone as they addressed a Momentum meeting in London tonight. The Labour leader vowed to continue to use his position to fight austerity and engage more people in political activity. McDonnell criticised Labour MPs as a “lynch mob”. LabourList editor Peter Edwards has the details.
19.47: On the NEC and nominations: Ken Livingstone announced that he has stood down from the ruling body, as he is currently unable to attend meetings due to being suspended. His standing down means that his position is filled (until the next election this summer) by the person with the most votes from last time who did not get elected.
That person is… Corbynite Darren Williams. This means that when the NEC meet to decide the leadership election rules, there will be one more person to vote in favour of Corbyn being put on the ballot automatically. It is, as one source described it, “a game changer” for the fine balance of the committee.
19.36: It now seems that Angela Eagle will announce her leadership bid tomorrow at 3pm, despite earlier reports suggesting she would not challenge Corbyn. Sources are confident they have the numbers ready to meet the nomination threshold and trigger a leadership contest immediately.
It will then become a matter for the NEC to decide whether Corbyn also needs to meet the 50 MPs/MEPs nomination threshold (and LabourList could have more on that tomorrow). At the moment, it looks unlikely he would be able to get that much support…
18.25 More on that Watson interview with the BBC: “I’d like to apologise to the country for the mess they are seeing in Westminster right now.”
17.42 Tom Watson has said he is trying to “negotiate” the departure of Corbyn. He expects a leadership election but ruled himself out of standing. Labour is facing an “existential crisis”, Watson also told the BBC.
17.40 One more intervention from earlier – Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, has come out in defence of Corbyn. He told the BBC that Labour MPs and behaved in a “petulant and self-indulgent” way and called on them to “put up or shut up”.
17.30 Ed Miliband has published a letter sent to his Doncaster North constituents setting out why he believes Corbyn should step down. See here for the full text.
17.00 More than 200 Scottish Labour members, including former shadow Scotland Secretary Margaret Curran, have written an open letter calling for Corbyn to “stand aside” and supporting Ian Murray’s decision to resign from the shadow Cabinet.
15.50 A Momentum pro-Corbyn rally that was due to take place this evening has been called off, with the group claiming they were overwhelmed by the high demand for the event.
15.16: Wales’ First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones has called for a leadership contest. Jones was speaking to BBC Wales News, who have released a short clip – more is expected from the interview later. Here’s what he’s said:
“I think there has to be a fresh leadership contest. This is never going to be resolved in any other way. The party is deeply divided. We have no hope of winning an election if we carry on like this. There needs to be a resolution, and that means a leadership contest.”
14.53 The meeting of the union officials is now over and we’re expecting a statement from them in the next couple of hours.
13.55 The General Secretaries of Unite, Unison, the GMB and CWU have met in order to discuss Labour’s leadership. We don’t know what will come from it yet, but all are notably pro-Corbyn.
13.24 Lisa Nandy also wrote a column this morning. She disagrees with Abbot and urges those in the party to change their direction.
“This is the choice before the Labour party: to turn outwards and lead, or inwards to certain destruction. If we choose the latter path we will die, and we will deserve to. It is not too late to change.”
13.21 Ed Miliband has called for Corbyn to go, saying his position is “untenable”. He says “more than any time I can remember this is a time we should be thinking of the interests of the country”
13.13 Diane Abbott has attacked yesterday’s no confidence, as well as criticising anti-Corbyn MPs, ballot in a column.
“Colleagues have contrived a ‘vote of no confidence’ that has absolutely no basis in the rule book. There was no notice. It was tabled on Monday and the vote held the following day. No institution would run an important ballot in this way. And it was a secret ballot.
“MP after MP got up to attack Jeremy Corbyn in the most contemptuous terms possible, pausing only to text their abuse to journalists waiting outside. A non-Corbynista MP told me afterwards that he had never seen anything so horrible and he had felt himself reduced to tears. Nobody talked about Jeremy Corbyn’s politics. There was only one intention: to break him as a man.”
12.05: John McDonnell will be making what Labour describes as a “major speech” on Brexit and the economy on Friday. It seems unlikely that will be all he talks about…
12.02: Amid all of Labour’s current problems, there’s something happening tomorrow that is unlikely to calm things down: it’s the publication of the Chakrabarti Report into anti-Semitism and all other forms of racism in the Labour Party.
Party members received an email this morning inviting them to the publication, which will take place in central London.
11.57: Emma Lewell-Buck has resigned as a Shadow Junior Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, saying she is “heartbroken” with recent events.
Today I'm stepping down as Shadow Minister heartbroken at state of Party & recent events so sorry things have came to this, statement later
— Emma Lewell-Buck (@EmmaLewellBuck) June 29, 2016
11.50: In a speech this morning, Gordon Brown weighed in on Labour’s current woes, saying the party needs to decide whether it is of “protest” or”power”:
“Yesterday’s vote among the parliamentary Labour Party focused on our electability. But there is a more profound challenge than whether we are a party of protest or a party of power.”
11.40: According to Laura Kuenssberg, twice acting leader Harriet Harman has said that Corbyn has “no mandate” to “take the party down”.
Harman – 'Jeremy has no right or mandate to stay in office despite his failure and take the party down with him'
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 29, 2016
11.30: Pat Glass has resigned as Shadow Education Secretary, after accepting the role on Monday, saying the situation is “untenable”.
It is with a heavy heart that I have today resigned as Shadow SoS Education. My dream job but the situation is untenable
— Pat Glass (@PatMGlass) June 29, 2016
10.12: Following the resignation of Piketty – which actually came in before the referendum – five other members of McDonnell’s Economic Advisory Committee have publicly criticised the leadership, and Danny Blanchflower has resigned. LabourList has the statement here.
10.09: Chi Onwurah, a shadow business minister, has confirmed she voted against Corbyn in yesterday’s no confidence motion. In the absence of a Shadow BIS Secretary, Onwurah spoke from the frontbench for Labour yesterday, and leadership sources told LabourList yesterday they expected her to take up the vacant Shadow Cabinet post.
Writing on her website, Onwurah says that she “could not in good conscience say I had confidence in him as our leader.”
“I cannot serve my constituents – which is my primary purpose – without effective leadership at the top of the Labour Party”, she writes, adding: “Jeremy’s leadership is not effective.”
09.29: No frontbench resignations yet today – but there’s trouble in the backrooms. Sky News’ Ed Conway reports that famous left wing economist Thomas Piketty has stepped down from John McDonnells Economic Advisory Committee.
Anastasia Nesvetailova, another member of the committee, has said that she would be happy to advise Labour in future, but has not confirmed that she remains in place, raising suspicions she too is on her way out…
22.34: Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has cast doubt on Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to do his job. Read her comments here.
19.23: National Policy Forum (NPF) members are unhappy about the last minute cancelling of this weekend’s meeting. In the email cancelling the meeting, it was claimed that “It would not be democratic to consider policy options which are no longer possible given Britain’s decision to leave the EU”.
However, in a letter to Jeremy Corbyn from NPF representatives, it is claimed that they were given assurances that in the event of a Brexit vote, the meeting would go ahead. This raises suspicions that the referendum result is not why the NPF was cancelled, and it has been cancelled because of the leadership crisis.
At a time when the country faces significant questions following last week’s EU referendum we are disappointed the National Policy Forum (NPF) meeting scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. This would have provided an opportunity for representatives across the party to discuss with you the challenges we face as a party and as a country.
The Labour Party’s democratic policy-making structures should be continuing to function as normal to help shape Labour’s response to recent events and to prepare for a possible early general election. NPF reps have mandates from CLPs, regions, trade unions and the wider movement and are well placed to contribute to these crucial debates for Labour. We had been assured at the recent Joint Policy Committee meeting that, in the event of a vote for Brexit, the National Policy Forum meeting would be used to discuss how our emerging policy would need to change to reflect this.
We are also disappointed as reps to the Joint Policy Committee elected by National Policy Forum reps from across CLPs and all regions that this decision appears to have been taken without any discussion or consultation through the JPC.
It is vital that the Party’s policy making process is inclusive and that we form a manifesto which appeals to those voters we need to attract to win an election. Thousands of members had already made submissions to the consultation process and we would like assurances that the work and views of local Labour Parties across the country and of the Labour Party’s Policy Commissions will be included in the manifesto process.
Chris Bloore, Joanne Harding, Rory Palmer, Fiona Twycross
Joint Policy Committee Members for CLP and Regional Representatives on the National Policy Forum
19.18: Liz McInnes is the latest to resign.
There is confusion about whether and when there will be an emergency NEC meeting – confusion that stretches to members of the NEC. Our latest understanding is that a meeting will not be scheduled until a leadership contest is officially triggered. But with a candidate set to announce either tonight or tomorrow, some well-placed sources say it’s pencilled in for Thursday.
17.44 Clive Efford, known for his soft left credentials, has resigned as shadow culture, media and sport minister.
17.31 Jeremy Corbyn has cancelled this weekend’s National Policy Forum.
In his email to all representatives it says it is cancelled “in light of the Brexit vote. It would not be democratic to consider policy options which no longer possible given Britain’s decision to leave the EU.”
“The leadership will spend the weekend organising the Party’s response to the market volatility and the current spate of racist attacks.”
However, given the developments of the past hour, many believe it is because of the growing instability of the party.
17.24 Blair’s former communications chief, Alastair Campbell has called on Corbyn to resign. He said people at the Momentum rally yesterday were “dedicated to destroying Labour not saving it”.
“MPs are of mixed quality., but they are not all daft. The avalanche of resignations of frontbenchers has come not merely because of his half-hearted, ineffectual campaigning in the referendum debate. It has come because they have seen up close that he cannot do the job.
“He is great when telling the converted what they already think – and by the way large numbers in that crowd last night are dedicated to destroying Labour not saving it – but hopeless at winning over the people we are going to need to prevent an even bigger Tory majority in the coming election, whether it is Johnson, Theresa May or anyone else at the helm from Number 10.”
17.17 Christina Rees and Kevin Brennan have also resigned from their shadow minister roles.
Rees was Shadow Justice Minister, Brennan was shadow Minister for Trade, Investment, and Intellectual Property.
17.15 Sarah Champion has stepped down from her role as shadow minister preventing abuse, which sat in the Home Office team.
I have just stepped down from my shadow minister job, but not my responsibilities to my constituents, party or victims of abuse
— Sarah Champion (@SarahChampionMP) June 28, 2016
17.11 Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, has reacted to the news, demanding that any real opposition to Corbyn is navigated through a formal leadership challenge. He says Corbyn supporters will be “ready for it”.
“The extraordinary behaviour of Labour MPs has achieved nothing beyond diverting attention from a Tory government in crisis.
“If anyone wants to change the Labour leadership, they must do it openly and democratically through an election, not through resignations and pointless posturing. If there has to be such an election, Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters throughout the movement will be ready for it.”
17.03 For comparison, Iain Duncan Smith lost a no confidene vote as Leader of the Conservatives 75-90 in 2003.
16.59 The reaction is coming in from Labour MPs.
Lucy Powell is reported to have said: “If Jeremy is to show any leadership quality at all he must now reflect and respond to this overwhelming and unprecedented indication from the parliamentary labour party which includes all wings and all groupings.”
16.54 Corbyn refuses to stand down. He calls for unity and appeals to his mandate from members to justify his decision.
“In the aftermath of last week’s referendum, our country faces major challenges. Risks to the economy and living standards are growing. The public is divided.
“The Government is in disarray. Ministers have made it clear they have no exit plan, but are determined to make working people pay with a new round of cuts and tax rises.
“Labour has the responsibility to give a lead where the Government will not. We need to bring people together, hold the Government to account, oppose austerity and set out a path to exit that will protect jobs and incomes.
“To do that we need to stand together. Since I was elected leader of our party nine months ago, we have repeatedly defeated the Government over its attacks on living standards.
“Last month, Labour become the largest party in the local elections. In Thursday’s referendum, a narrow majority voted to leave, but two thirds of Labour supporters backed our call for a remain vote.
“I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60% of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy.
We are a democratic party, with a clear constitution. Our people need Labour party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite behind my leadership at a critical time for our country.
16.50 Since then, Lyn Brown has resigned as shadow home office minister.
16.30 Corbyn has lost ballot of no confidence. Our Labour source says it was 172-40 against Corbyn, but there are different total being reported elsewhere. This includes 4 abstentions.
If these 40 MPs continue to back Corbyn, he is considerably closer to the total of 51 nominations from MPs and MEPs to get onto the ballot paper in the case of a formal challenge.
Labour has 20 MEPs – Corbyn would need to convince half of them to nominate him, and it’s possible many might wcho the sentiments of some MPs and hold Corbyn responsible for the referendum result.
The Party press office has released the following:
“Following the ballot conducted today, the Parliamentary Labour Party has accepted the following motion:
“That this PLP has no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
16.22 Regardless of the outcome, Labour local government leaders are expected to put out a statement this evening requesting that Corbyn stands down.
16.13 The result of the no confidence ballot is expected at about half past four.
16.05 Pat Glass, one of Corbyn’s new appointments has said she will not stand in the next general election, meaning one of Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet will certainly not serve in any real cabinet if Labour wins the next general election.
She says the past six months in politics have been exceptionally trying, especially given the divisive tone of the referendum.
I have informed my CLP Chair that whenever the next General Election takes place, I will not be Labour's candidate. pic.twitter.com/g3DADx57KF
— Pat Glass (@PatMGlass) June 28, 2016
16.00 The no confidence ballot has closed. Counting will now begin and we’ll keep you updated with the result as soon as it comes through.
15.34 Notably, the Scotland shadow cabinet team is still vacant. Labour only has one MP from a Scottish constituency, Ian Murray, who resigned his position.
Today in Holyrood Kezia Dugdale attacked Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives for saying Scottish voters could only trust the Tories with to keep Scotland in the union, asking “how is that going now Ruth?”
She said the Tories were a “party that forced this EU referendum on a country that did not want it, only to resolve an ego contest”.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has used the referendum result as a platform for a second Scottish independence referendum, which Scottish Labour has said they will not support within the timeframe of this parliament.
15.10 Yvette Cooper has refused to rule herself out of running against Corbyn. The former Cabinet minister gave a speech this morning and Conor Pope has the details.
14.21 Corbyn let cameras into the new shadow cabinet meeting earlier today. It makes interesting viewing.
You can watch the full footage here, but notably there’s a reshuffle caught by the cameras – Tom Watson and Cat Smith are moved off screen from the original lineup.
Compare and contrast. Smith and Watson are replaced with Emily Thornberry and Steve Rotherham.
14.15 Speaking of deselections, more than half of new members back deselection of those who repeatedly criticise the leadership.
13.34 Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn, has issued strong criticisms of Momentum and repeated threats of deselection in a letter to Corbyn urging him to resign.
“Over the past months since you have been elected, the unity of the Labour Party has been threatened. Your supporters – particularly those in Momentum – have tried to drive a deep wedge between Labour MPs and the grassroots, fuelled by John McDonnell who, I believe, relishes seeing the party in disarray.
“The hypocrisy of being threatened with deselection every time myself, or one of my colleagues, has disagreed with you is beyond belief given your and John’s past record in the House. But this nastiness has come to surround and define your tenure and we witnessed just recently your active encouragement of it.”
My letter to Jeremy Corbyn urging him to resign pic.twitter.com/1y955bJmr2
— Chris Evans for Islwyn (@VoteChrisEvans) June 28, 2016
Evans nominated Liz Kendal to leadership but has not been a vocal critic of Corbyn during his leadership so far.
In the past MPs have expressed anxieties against the threat of deselection, which has previously been touted as way for the membership to have greater control over MPs.
13.11 Our sources say Chi Onwurah is likely to be confirmed as Shadow BIS secretary, after she led Business Questions this morning.
12.51 Corbyn has released a video about Labour’s upcoming National Executive Committee elections. The NEC will most likely rule on whether the Labour leader is automatically on the ballot in the case of a contest. As Corbyn may not receive the 51 nominations from MPs and MEPs to be on the ballot, this decision is crucial to his future as leader.
Corbyn urges members to look out for the “names, details and views” of candidates and to “help us by continuing to develop our party, Britain’s biggest democratic organisation.”
Nominations to the NEC are dominated by two states, one pro-Corbyn group and another dissatisfied with his leadership.
The outcome of the vote may determine whether the NEC retains it’s slim pro-Corbyn bias.
We need the enthusiasm & energy of all Party members to campaign for a better, more equal & more democratic societyhttps://t.co/M4Yl4zQMgd
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 28, 2016
12.31 Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet is meeting for the first time while voting on the no confidence motion is underway. By our count, there are still seven positions unfilled, as well as two seats from the Labour Lords not in attendance as Angela Smith and Steve Bassam have said they will not attend while Corbyn is leader.
ICYMI here is the list of current shadow cabinet positions currently filled.
12.09 Sadiq Khan, while not calling explicitly for Corbyn to go, has criticised the Labour In campaign for not getting messages across to voters. Speaking to The Guardian, he said:
“It’s quite clear that, when you did speak to Labour voters, they wanted to know what the Labour position was.
“There were too many saying, ‘What is Labour’s position?’ They should have known.”
11.48 Business Questions are under way in the Commons – but there is no shadow Business Secretary. Angela Eagle resigned yesterday and the new shadow Cabinet line-up does not yet show her replacement. It is due to be completed later today. In the meantime, junior shadow BIS ministers are taking care of things in the Commons against Business Secretary Sajid Javid.
11.42 Elsewhere, Yvette Cooper has not rules herself out of leadership after calling for Corbyn to stand down.
She has said “I strongly hope Jeremy will stand down. I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m not here launching anything.”
11.38 Alan Whitehead, shadow energy and climate change minister, has resigned. He says that his lack of faith in Cobryn as leader means he cannot continue in his position without great dishonesty.
It is with great sadness that I have resigned as Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister as of 11am today pic.twitter.com/97JksufgUz
— Alan Whitehead (@alanwhiteheadmp) June 28, 2016
11.33 A Labour source has told our team there may be some vested interest in play during today’s vote.
Labour source: "Steve Rotheram, Jeremy Corbyn's PPS, is Andy Burnham's proxy for today's no confidence vote. Just let that sink in."
— Conor Pope (@Conorpope) June 28, 2016
11.30 While it is still only speculation, Tom Watson is widely touted amongst Labour MPs as a potential challenger to Corbyn.
11.22 Yvette Cooper has said the no one has a plan for Brexit, not even the Labour Party, in a speech this morning.
She said “No one has a plan. Not the Government, not the Labour party, – the only person with a sort of plan is Nicola Sturgeon, and that’s unlikely to pull Britain together.”
She goes on to criticise Corbyn , saying he is “unable to fill a front bench”.
10.40 Graham Allen, Labour’s MP from Nottingham North is reportedly boycotting today’s no confidence vote. This statement, attributed to him, says he will abstain from the vote to avoid legitimising any particular faction. He also voices discontent over a vote that has no procedural standing in the party.
10.12: Barbara Keeley and Andrew Gwynne have joined their former boss Heidi Alexander in resigning from the shadow health team – Diane Abbott was brought in to replace Alexander as Shadow Health Secretary yesterday, and only Justin Madders remains as a junior shadow minister with her.
There is a subplot here: Gwynne is running Andy Burnham’s bid to become Greater Manchester Mayor, and Burnham is one of the few Shadow Cabinet ministers not to have walked.
09.30 Diane Abbott has mounted a vigorous defence of Corbyn on the Today programme – but admitted he would lose today’s confidence vote among MPs. She also predicted Corbyn would go on to win a leadership election. We have a full write-up here.
09.12 We have an updated list of the comings and goings on the frontbench over the last 48 hours.
09.04 The polls are now open. Just nine months after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader, MPs are now voting on a motion of no confidence.
08.21: There were two other resignations last night: Nic Dakin and Andy Slaughter.
Slaughter standing down from the Shadow Justice team is one of the most interesting resignations so far. A big early supporter of Ed Miliband and Sadiq Khan, and passionate advocate of Palestinian rights, he has been a welcoming “comrade” (his word) of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. So much so that he was reportedly offered a Shadow Cabinet role yesterday, but turned it down.
He came to his decision after consulting with local Labour activists in his Hammersmith constituency – could that be a sign that party members are becoming fed up with the leadership?
07.32 Good morning everyone!
After a long day yesterday, Mike Kane resigned from his position as international development minister.
30 years a member @UKLabour – proud to have served but have tonight resigned as Shadow International Development Minister
— Mike Kane (@MikeKaneMP) June 27, 2016
Also, Richard Burden resigned from his position as shadow minister for transport.
— Richard Burden (@RichardBurdenMP) June 27, 2016
22.46 Tonight’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) has been described as “brutal” by people who attended. MPs debated the motion of no confidence in Corbyn. Conor Pope has the details.
21.50 We now have a full report from the “Keep Corbyn” rally, thanks to reporter Sarah Pine, who attended this evening.
20.55 Former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw has told the BBC: “I have no doubt at all we could have done better in the referendum if we had better leadership.” Departing shadow ministers fear Labour would be “absolutely obliterated” in a general election under Corbyn, he added.
20.50 Nic Dakin has quit as shadow schools minister after Corbyn’s meeting with MPs tonight. Dakin said: “After further failure of leadership from Jeremy at today’s PLP I have resigned from Labour Front Bench”
20.20 The Labour leader has finished speaking. Momentum say police told them an estimated crowd of 10,000 people arrived to hear Corbyn.
20.05 Corbyn tells supporters: “Don’t let the media divide us: stay together, strong and united”.
20.00 Corbyn has told the crowd: “I was elected as Labour Party’s leader to redistribute wealth and power.”
18.31 Jennie Formby, south east regional secretary of Unite and Labour NEC member, tells the crowd she is “angry” at the behaviour of MPs.
18.30 The “keep Corbyn” rally is underway outside the Houses of Parliament. Activists are chanting “PLP: this is what democracy looks like”.
18.15 Corbyn has announced more shadow Cabinet appointments. Kate Osamor becomes shadow International Development Secretary. Rachel Maskell is shadow Environment Secretary. Jon Trickett moves to – deep breath – shadow Lord President of the Council and Campaigns and Elections Director. Richard Burgon is shadow Justice Secretary, Grahame Morris is shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary and Barry Gardiner is shadow Energy Secretary.
The line-up so far is available on Corbyn’s Facebook page.
18.12 Sky News has some updates on more shadow Cabinet appointments. It looks like Debbie Abrahams becomes shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.
17.56 Melanie Onn has stepped down as shadow deputy Leader of the House. Jack Dromey quit as shadow police minister earlier and told his “old friend” Corbyn “we cannot fight back and win with you as our Leader”.
17.49 Sharon Hodgson has resigned as shadow minister for children and families. She recognised the “undeniable” mandate Corbyn received last summer but called on him to resign. Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, had some strong words on his recent efforts, saying:
“Labour needs to be involved at the highest levels of the EU exit negotiations to obtain the best deal possible for our people and our country, and I am not confident that you can give us that leadership.
“This is even more concerning now that the extent of your ambivalence and lacklustre campaigning to remain in the EU has come to light. Therefore, I do not believe you are the right person to lead these negotiations on Labour’s behalf in the coming weeks and months ahead, and believe you have let down the many people who elected you in such large numbers to be our leader last summer.
“For this very same reason, I also believe that you will not be able to command the necessary support of the wider electorate during an expected snap General Election later in the year. I fear your leadership could force Labour into fighting for its very existence rather than campaigning to form the next Government. I am concerned that this will leave the people that we both came into politics to help and serve in a far worse position, abandoned for a generation.”
17.28 The PLP are meant to meet at 6pm. Since Cameron’s statement on preparing for Brexit in the House of Commons earlier today, Corbyn’s whereabouts have been unclear. We’ll try to keep you as up to date as possible with what is going on in Westminster and whether any news comes out of the PLP meeting.
17.14 Momentum have also mobilised it’s activists, urging members and supporters to contact their MP before the 6pm PLP meeting this evening and urge them to “remain loyal” to Corbyn.
Their email reads:
17.01 Many have tweeted about the Saving Labour petition which is gaining traction online, which is organising petitions to go to Labour MPs encouraging them to vote that they have no confidence in Corbyn . It is unclear how many have signed it, but Laboru figures like Alastair Campbell and Wes Streeting have tweeted about it and #SavingLabour is trending on twitter.
Signing the petition delivers a message to members’ MP or, if they do not have one, PLP chair John Cryer. However, it also gives permission for Saving Labour to email the respondent in the future. There is speculation this could be the beginning of a new anti-Momentum group – using digital methods to unite activists and communicate messages rapidly. Definitely one to watch.
16.54 Young members of Labour have also spoken out against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
A letter from 400 young members has been released coming at the same time London Young Labour have called on Corbyn to step aside.
This is notable – Corbyn is meant to communicate with young voters well. However, his moderate EU stance is less likely to have chimed with them, as young people are overwhelmingly in favour of the EU.
16.52 The result from the no confidence vote in Corbyn is expected at 4pm tomorrow.
16.45 ITV are reporting Dennis Skinner has shown MPs his support for Jeremy Corbyn.
Dennis Skinner appears to flick the V-sign at former shadow cabinet members after shaking Jeremy Corbyn's handhttps://t.co/2jV6TwOdtf
— ITV News (@itvnews) June 27, 2016
16.26 While Corbyn’s shadow cabinet has been attracting most of our attention, we shouldn’t forget politics outside of the Labour Party.
Unite, the largest trade union in the UK, have released a statement about the increase in racial attacks since Brexit. There have been reports of xenophobia around the country occuring with alarming frequency after the vote to Leave. Immigration was a top issue for voters in the referendum and many have speculated that the Leave result has legitimised racism in the eyes of many.
Harish Patel, Unite’s officer for equalities and steel, demanded those who brought poison into the campaign should make it clear they condemn racism.“The numerous incidents of hate crime and racial abuse seen since the referendum result take our country back to more divided times. Those who brought poison and division to the EU referendum debate should not just hang their heads in shame but also make it abundantly clear that they condemn the racism and prejudice now showing its face. This poison must not be allowed to take root.
“Unite and the trade union movement will be playing its part, as we do every day in workplaces across the country, to bring people together because divided we do fall.
“But it is also beholden upon all our political parties to state very clearly that this behaviour has no place whatsoever in a modern, decent society, and to provide the agencies charged with supporting community cohesion the resources they need to bring people together.
“Over the coming days and weeks Unite will continue to support communities and workers of all nationalities and backgrounds. These are our members, our colleagues, our comrades, our neighbours and our friends. We shall not turn away.
“Our nation’s values of tolerance and respect will not be destroyed by those who sow division. People should be in no doubt that Unite will continue to confront racism and tackle the haters who seek divide our communities.”
16.17 Hey all, it’s Sarah back again.
Some good news amongst all the Labour in-fighting: Dr Rosena Allin-Khan has been sworn in today. She’s our party’s newest MP, taking the Tooting seat vacated by Sadiq Khan.
16.00 Jeremy Corbyn has used his Commons response to David Cameron’s Brexit statement to warn of the impact of indulging in “internal factional manoeuvring” among MPs. It prompts cheers and jeers across the chamber.
15.41 The “no confidence” vote in Corbyn has been confirmed for tomorrow. Labour MPs will debate the following motion: “That this PLP has no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.” Voting will take place between 10am and 4pm.
15.34 Sir Keir Starmer has resigned as shadow immigration minister. The former Director of Public Prosecutions said: “it is simply untenable now to suggest that we can offer an effective opposition without a change of leader”. Starmer has been touted as a possible future leadership candidate but was only elected to the Holborn and St Pancras seat last year.
15.28 John McDonnell has issued a statement – but there is no mention of the frontbench resignations. In the aftermath of Brexit the shadow Chancellor has called on George Osborne to provide extra support for the poorest parts of the country if they suffer a big economic hit from Britain’s departure from the EU.
“Two key issues now need to be addressed by George Osborne. First, that the Treasury and financial authorities have in place interim measures needed to calm market volatility while protecting working people. We appreciate that many of these cannot be made public and so request a cross-party briefing on a Privy Council basis to secure cross-party support. Second, that he can offer interim government support, particularly to more deprived regions, in the event of a continued slide in investment, and those regions at risk of losing EU funding.
“We will get through this period of uncertainty, as Britain has done many times in the past. There are real strengths in our economy, not least our phenomenally talented and dedicated workforce. Nonetheless, volatility continues and there remain grave uncertainties about the UK’s future relationship with our European partners and the wider world. The future direction of the government itself is not yet determined. Labour is prepared, in the national interest, to work with our Parliamentary colleagues to ensure that the best interests of British working people are secured.”
15.06 In a fresh attack on Jeremy Corbyn, 57 Labour PPCs have called on the leader to quit. Their letter, seen exclusively by LabourList, says the party must “seek a change of leadership”.
15.05 Hello it is Peter Edwards, LabourList editor, now adding to the blog.
14.56 Journalist Michael Crick is reporting the left-wing Campaign for Labour Party Democracy is pushing for mandatory reselection of Labour MPs.
Source from left-wing Campaign for Labour Party Democracy says considering pressing for full mandatory reselection in every Labour seat
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) June 27, 2016
Many view this as an attempt for the membership to gain much more control over MPs. If the membership is as behind Corbyn as most believe, it would threaten the jobs of many who have been outspoken against the leader.
14.46 Elsewhere, Emily Thornberry has taken up the mantle at Defence Questions in the House of Commons, which was her former brief before her promotion. She says this is her last session before taking up her new post.
14.42 Unison has released a statement supporting Jeremy Corbyn and calling for unity in the party.
“Last summer, our union nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader, and a great number of our members voted for him in the Labour leadership contest.
“Support for Jeremy remains the position of this union as determined by our members through our democratic structures. Our Labour party members conference next week will be have an open and honest debate about the future of the party, and how Labour wins the coming election.
“It is not the PLP or trade unions who now elect the leader of the Labour Party – it is party members and affiliate supporters, and that mandate should be respected.
“It is essential that the Labour Party is united in dealing with the huge threats to our economy, society, the disturbing rise of racism in our communities and attacks on public services as our country faces a period of huge uncertainty.
“The Tories are divided, but at this crucial time, Labour should not be.
“As we appear to be moving towards an early general election, our members need strong and united leadership from the Labour Party.
“If MPs choose not to serve in the Shadow Cabinet, the Labour leader has a right to seek to form a shadow cabinet and lead our party as long as he has the support of party members.”
14.34 Defence questions have started in Parliament. This should be new shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis’ first big gig, but I can’t see him anywhere…
The first Labour MP to make an appearance is actually Ben Bradshaw, who doesn’t hold a defence portfolio.
14.30: Momentum national organiser Emma Rees, has released a statement about the group’s #KeepCorbyn rally outside parliament this evening. She says the huge appetite for the event shows how Corbyn’s ideas are still popular.
“The huge numbers of people signed up for tonight’s rally in such a short space of time just goes to show the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn and his ideas.”
“Momentum supporters are disappointed with the orchestrated Shadow Cabinet resignations. These actions are grossly irresponsible at a time of national crisis following the Brexit vote.”
“We are ready to throw everything at building the Labour Party and the movement for a New Politics that Jeremy Corbyn leads.”
14.24 GMB boss Tim Roache has made a statement supporting Corbyn. GMB are one of the affiliated unions to the Party.
“This is about democracy and respecting the Labour Party’s democratic process. It’s Labour members and affiliate supporters who elect the party leadership, not the PLP or trade unions. Jeremy has a strong mandate, and it’s hugely disappointing that this is not being respected. Individual MPs of course have the right to choose whether to serve in shadow cabinet or not, but as long as he has the support of the membership, it is equally the right of the Party leader to form that shadow cabinet and lead the party.
“Right now, we need a united Labour party with a strong, united leadership that is tackling the big issues we face post Brexit vote – a united, credible opposition is absolutely vital as the Tories enter into their own leadership contest as a divided party, a contest that may herald the most right wing government of our generation.”
14.20 Luciana Berger has resigned as Shadow Minister for Mental Health, which Corbyn promoted to a shadow cabinet position.
Berger is one of the shadow cabinet ministers standing for selection for metropolitan mayors. There has been speculation she would not resign as it may threaten her standing with the membership, who have a say in the selection process.
I have spoken to Jeremy today and it is with great sadness that I have stood down from his Shadow Cabinet. pic.twitter.com/YRYiu7HRd0
— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) June 27, 2016
14.17: ICYMI – here’s Sam Tarry, a Momentum organiser, on the Daily Politics earlier, up against Emma Reynolds. He said there was no “end game” to shadow frontbench resignations as Corbyn would easily win another leadership contest.
14.08 Having trouble keeping up with everything? We’ve got a roundup here, but this helpful list leaked to Paul Waugh may also be some help. It shows where entire teams have resigned and where there are some lonely ministers remaining.
Red for out, green for in, and orange for 'can't be moved'..Corbyn reshuffle list, leaked, in real time pic.twitter.com/5vZs312RbJ
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 27, 2016
14.06 A letter has been leaked from Alan Johnson, chair of Labour in for Britain, in which he accepts some responsibility for the referendum result, but implies the Party’s leadership undermined the efforts of activists across the country.
13.30 Maria Eagle also resigned this morning, as the 18th shadow cabinet member to officially depart their post.
13.13 Kate Green has resigned. She was the shadow minister for women and equalities. She is the last from the the MPs who met Corbyn this morning to step down, taking the total of shadow cabinet members to depart to 17. Including de facto resignations from the Lords and junior minsters, this is a total of 34 departures so far.
My letter to Jeremy advising my resignation from the shadow cabinet today pic.twitter.com/hkifPr101Y
— Kate Green (@KateGreenSU) June 27, 2016
12.38 Nia Griffith, Shadow Wales Secretary, has also resigned. As Susan Elan Jones, and Nia’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, Gerald Jones, have both resigned with Griffith, this means the entire shadow Wales team have left their posts.
Here is her full statement:
“This morning I met with Jeremy Corbyn, to discuss the much needed leadership and unity that the Party needs in the light of the referendum aftermath and a potentially imminent general election.
“However I do not feel that our discussions this morning gave me the confidence that he could now achieve this unity. I have therefore tendered my resignation as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
“I made clear to Jeremy that I have always admired his commitment to the causes that matter to him, but last week’s referendum result and the likelihood of an early general election mean that the party now requires new leadership. Jeremy has lost the confidence of the party, including many members who initially supported him, and he should now do the honourable thing and resign.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve as Shadow Welsh Secretary for the past nine months, in particular to play my part in re-electing a Welsh Labour Government which is now more important than ever before.”
12.26 John Healey has resigned. Below is a copy of his resignation letter.
Former minister Healey is the 15th shadow cabinet member to resign – 17th is you include Angela Smith and Steve Bassam’s refusal to attend from the Lords while Corbyn is in post. There have been 13 further resignations from junior ministers today, taking the total departures to 30.
12.20 Angela Eagle has resigned, saying the party needs a leader who can unite the party. Eagle was shadow business secretary, and has received widespread praise for her strong performances when taking over Prime Minister’s Questions and for holding the government to account over the steel crisis.
Eagle is a member of Labour’s NEC by as a frontbench representative. Her resignation will most likely mean she is no longer holds this position.
Eagle was exceptionally popular across the Labour movement, topping LabourList’s shadow cabinet rankings last month.
With deep regret, and after nine months of trying to make it work, I have today resigned from the Shadow Cabinet pic.twitter.com/tX7SPDyTIZ
— Angela Eagle (@angelaeagle) June 27, 2016
12.15 Matthew Pennycook, another shadow junior minister, has resigned from his position as PPS to John Healey. Healey is yet to resign, but there are rumours he could do so any minute.
Having taken soundings from members and constituents, I have resigned from the Shadow Housing and Planning Team. pic.twitter.com/MYN50mQniV
— Matthew Pennycook (@mtpennycook) June 27, 2016
11.58: Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Lisa Nandy and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith have resigned, calling on Tom Watson to take over as caretaker leader. Both had been rumoured to fancy the leadership themselves, so the Watson backing is important.
It is also interesting that this is a sign the soft left have turned on Corbyn. Read the Nandy/Smith joint statement here:
“Together with our colleagues from the centre left of the party – John Healey, Nia Griffith, and Kate Green – we just met with Jeremy Corbyn to discuss the future of our party. We had hoped to leave that meeting with the confidence to continue to support the leadership in bringing the Labour Party together from within the Shadow Cabinet. During the course of the meeting it became clear that this would not be possible.
“It is therefore with huge sadness that we have resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. We have both been deeply distressed that this week of all weeks Labour has descended into infighting instead of looking outwards to the country. We do not believe that this is a time for internal warfare. Following the referendum result we believe we in Labour have a unique responsibility to show collective leadership to help bring the country through these difficult times. It has become increasingly apparent in the last 48 hours that this is not a realistic prospect in the current circumstances.
“The lack of confidence in the leadership goes beyond the small group of MPs who have consistently opposed Jeremy since his election. It has become clear that he is unable to form a broad, inclusive Shadow Cabinet that draws on the best of our movement’s left and right traditions. For that reason we have told Jeremy that whilst the party holds a leadership contest – which is now inevitable – we believe Tom Watson ought to take over as a caretaker leader to stabilise the party and to enable us to play a full part as the official opposition in one of the most difficult periods this country has ever faced.”
11.46: Nia Griffith, John Healey and Kate Green are finalising their resignation letters, we understand.
11.43: Jenny Chapman has resigned from the shadow education team. She’s posted her letter on Facebook here.
Several more Shadow Cabinet ministers have just left meetings with Corbyn, including John Healey Angela Eagle, Lisa Nandy and Owen Smith. We’re expecting further resignations.
Rumours abound that Nandy could be running. Some say she will stand against Corbyn, while others say pro-Corbyn MPs are doing ring rounds on her behalf, which makes it a tougher call.
11.05: Roberta Blackman-Woods has resigned as a shadow housing minister. Her letter of resignation is here:
I have just resigned my position on the frontbench for the reasons as set out below in my letter to Jeremy pic.twitter.com/wtYq5lgt9D
— Roberta Blackman-Woods (@robertabwMP) June 27, 2016
10.45: The BBC are reporting that Tom Watson urged Corbyn to quit, although it seems he may not have said that explicitly – rather, he told the Labour leader he had lost the confidence of the parliamentary party.
10.25: Alex Cunningham formally tendered his resignation as Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment this morning, bringing today’s resignation total to 12 – not including the two peers who will no longer attend Shadow Cabinet under Corbyn.
09.49: A meeting between Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn has now taken place. According to Guardian political editor Anushka Asthana, Watson did not urge Corbyn to go, as many had expected:
Meeting between Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn has taken place. I understand that Tom didn't urge JC to resign…
— Anushka Asthana (@AnushkaAsthana) June 27, 2016
09.02: Ruth Smeeth has resigned as PPS to Northern Ireland and Scotland teams.
08.57: All of the resignations so far this morning have been from junior roles, but expect more to come in from the Shadow Cabinet today.
Several Shadow Cabinet ministers will have meetings with Corbyn this morning, to tell him face-to-face their concerns and ask him to stand aside for the good of the party.
08.55: Yvonne Fovargue the latest to go, resigning as Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs & Science. Her letter:
I have today resigned from the frontbench as Shadow Minister – Consumer Affairs & Science pic.twitter.com/PYpjwOiIKU
— Yvonne Fovargue (@Y_FovargueMP) June 27, 2016
08.47: Two more effective Shadow Cabinet resignations – Baroness Smith (Shadow Lords Leader) and Lord Bassam (Lords Chief Whip) will not attend Shadow Cabinet while Corbyn is still in place. They are elected by Labour peers, and so Corbyn can’t sack them.
Two more resignations from MPs, meanwhile: Steve Reed stands down as Shadow Local Government minister, and Jess Phillips as PPS to Lucy Powell. Here’s Steve Reed’s resignation:
I have resigned as Shadow Minister for Local Government. Here is my letter of resignation pic.twitter.com/WcMZp757xE
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedMP) June 27, 2016
08.39: Wayne David resigns as junior Shadow Scotland minister – meaning there is now no Shadow Scotland team.
08.28 Toby Perkins, shadow armed forces minister, resigned this morning, making a total of six resignations this morning from junior minister positions.
I have informed Jeremy Corbyn that I am resigning from my post of Shadow Armed Forces Minister. My letter attached. pic.twitter.com/8ui8lGHVUP
— Toby Perkins (@tobyperkinsmp) June 27, 2016
08.26 Jeremy Corbyn as released news of new appointments this morning
Shadow Foreign Secretary – Emily Thornberry
Shadow Health Secretary – Diane Abbott
Shadow Education Secretary – Pat Glass
Shadow Transport Secretary – Andy McDonald
Shadow Defence Secretary – Clive Lewis
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rebecca Long-Bailey
Shadow International Development Secretary – Kate Osamor
Shadow Environment Food and Rural Affairs Secretary – Rachel Maskell
Shadow Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs – Cat Smith
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary – Dave Anderson
08.22 Neil Coyle, who was PPS to the shadow leader of the house, resigned on Sky news this morning.
Coyle’s senior, Chris Bryant, left his role yesterday, saying if Corbyn reuses to resign he “will go down in history as the man who broke the Labour Party”.
08.15 Norman Smith from the BBC has reported that Chris Matheson has resigned from his post as PPS to Labour’s justice team.
Chris Matheson former Unite official and on the left has quit as pps to shadow Justice team
— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) June 27, 2016
08.09 Kinnock joins Anna Turley, Shadow Minister for civil society, and Diana Johnson, shadow Foreign and Commonwealth minister
It is with great sadness that I just sent my resignation as Shadow Minister for Civil Society to Jeremy Corbyn. pic.twitter.com/DDUgtff70Q
— Anna4Redcar🌹🐝 (@annaturley) June 27, 2016
After @hilarybennmp sacking yesterday I have now written to Jeremy Corbyn to resign as a Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister.
— Vote Diana Johnson for Hull North – December 12th (@DianaJohnsonMP) June 27, 2016
08.01 Good morning! Stephen Kinnock has resigned, saying Corbyn does not have the necessary skills or experience to negotiate Labour’s interests during the Brexit process.
Kinnock was Parliament Private Secretary to Angela Eagle. He has risen to public attention for his high-profile role defending the steel industry in Wales, where his Aberavon seat is.
It is with regret that this morning I have resigned as a PPS pic.twitter.com/0KFG1bhRaD
— Stephen Kinnock (@SKinnock) June 27, 2016
22.21 For LabourList’s quick recap of the day, click here.
There are rumours swirling around there will further resignations tomorrow which might threaten Corbyn’s ability to fill all positions in the next 24 hours.
HuffPo reports Angela Eagle, John Healey and Lisa Nandy have demanded a meeting with Corbyn tomorrow to ask him to step down.
The day will also include Momentum’s #KeepCorbyn rally at 6pm.
We’re going to wind down this liveblog overnight, but stay tuned for updates from the morning. – Sarah
21.55 Jeremy Corbyn has released a statement. He says he has an “overwhelming mandate” from members and will stand in any future leadership contest.
“Our country faces a huge challenge following Thursday’s vote to leave the European Union. And the British people have a right to know how their elected leaders are going to respond.
“We need to come together to heal the divisions exposed by the vote. We have to respect the decision that has been made, hold the government to democratic account over its response, and ensure that working people don’t pay the price of exit.
“Neither wing of the Tory government has an exit plan. Labour will now ensure that our reform agenda is at the heart of the negotiations that lie ahead. That includes the freedom to shape our economy for the future and the necessity of protecting social and employment rights.
“One clear message from last Thursday’s vote is that millions of people feel shut out of a political and economic system that has let them down and scarred our country with grotesque levels of inequality.
“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.”
21.35 Here is a copy of Bryant’s resignation letter. It is much harsher than Turner’s when it comes to apportioning blame for the referendum defeat, and uses much harder language, saying Corbyn undermined the campaign to remain in the EU.
He goes on to say that Corbyn’s team have showed they cannot mount an effective national campaign and the only way out of the logjam is for Corbyn to resign.
I have just spoken to Jeremy Corbyn. Here is my resignation letter. pic.twitter.com/n0Tbya06is
— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) June 26, 2016
21.20 Chris Bryant has resigned, calling for a new leader for the party.
Bryant’s position was Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.
He is the 11th shadow cabinet member to resign, meaning there are 12 vacancies including Hilary Benn’s position. Given Corbyn does not have widespread support among the PLP, filling these dozen positions is going to be a challenge.
I’ve just spoken to Jeremy Corbyn and tendered my resignation from the Shadow Cabinet. We need someone new to unite and lead Labour.
— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) June 26, 2016
20.49 UCATT leader Bryan Rye has joined the union leaders backing Corbyn. The acting General Secretary of the construction workers’ union has said:
“At a time when the country is facing huge uncertainty due to the result of the EU Referendum the actions of Labour MPs in trying to topple Jeremy Corbyn is nothing short of disgraceful.
“The country is crying out for leadership and to ensure that jobs aren’t lost, workers’ rights aren’t diminished and earnings aren’t cut as a result of the referendum vote. By trying to create a needless leadership election these Labour MPs are effectively giving a free pass to the imposition of extreme Right-wing policies.”
“Jeremy Corbyn was elected just nine months ago and has a huge mandate from Labour members. The referendum was not of Labour’s making and it is frankly intellectually dishonest to try to blame Labour’s leader for that result.”
UCATT is one of the affiliated unions to the Labour Party. Rye’s statement joins ones from RMT, CWU and Unite bosses, all of whom have backed the Labour leader today.
20.22 There are lots of rumours Angela Eagle or Jon Ashworth will be resigning. We’ve had no confirmation of either, but if one were to occur it would be particularly notable.
Both sit on Labour’s NEC as frontbench representatives. Forgoing their frontbench positions would mean they were no longer on the NEC, which is a crucial body for determining whether Corbyn can be on a leadership ballot automatically.
20.01 Here is Karl Turner’s letter in full.
As an MP in Hull a Leave vote in the referendum is probably fairly worrying. Hull is a port city facing Europe and a source of inward investment to the UK. Brexit will likely cause a fair bit of instability to the city.
The area voted to Leave, which probably shows Labour is not communicating well, even with those areas heavily supported by our EU membership.
Resignation letter in full. Will be making no further comment to the press. pic.twitter.com/9C9nhiLD5E
— Vote Karl Turner Thursday 12 December (@KarlTurnerMP) June 26, 2016
19.53 One of the most debated internal Labour issues is whether Corbyn’s lack of support from MPs could prevent him from re-standing in the case of a leadership challenge.
Challengers require nominations 20 per cent of MPs and MEPs in order to trigger the election. It has been unclear whether the incumbent leader requires these nominations too, or is automatically on the ballot. Paul Waugh from HuffPo writes that legal advice has offered guidance: Corbyn would be on the ballot automatically.
19.31 Diane Abbott has appeared on BBC Question Time, saying MPs have been “planning this for months”, saying the referendum campaign is simply an opportune excuse for a coup.
Abbott wrote for LabourList immediately after the referendum result on the need for unity in the party.
19.25 Richard Burgon, shadow treasury minister, has written for LabourList in support of Jeremy Corbyn.
He criticises those who have resigned, saying “Not only are these MPs out of touch with Party members. They’re also out of touch with voters. It’s completely removed from reality to believe that the problem for Labour in working-class communities in the North is that Jeremy didn’t give an uncritical ‘hard sell’ of the EU. Even those MPs representing Northern constituencies in Parliament who are not from, and don’t live in, the North, should have realised that.”
You can read his full piece here.
Burgon nominated Corbyn for leadership last summer and is seen as a key ally to the Labour leader.
19.15 Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield, has called on Corbyn to resign in the Guardian. He is the chair of Labour in for Britain and says “It was clear last summer that Corbyn was only ever partially interested in keeping Britain in Europe and an honourable leader would bear the responsibility for the failure to persuade Labour voters to vote remain.”
Wilson nominated Liz Kendall for leader last summer.
19.08 Karl Turner has resigned. The MP was the Shadow Attorney General. Including Hilary Benn, he is the 11th person to leave the shadow cabinet since the EU vote.
With a very heavy heart I have notified Jeremy Corbyn that I have resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. Letter to follow.
— Vote Karl Turner Thursday 12 December (@KarlTurnerMP) June 26, 2016
18.17: There are still questions about whether Corbyn would be automatically be on the ballot if a leadership contest were trigged. The New Statesman has said Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, wouldn’t put Corbyn on the ballot without the backing of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
However, the Guardian is reporting that the legal advice given to McNicol and Labour’s NEC says the opposite and that Corbyn would automatically be on the ballot paper.
17.53: Who’s gone so far:
Vernon Coaker – Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary
Lucy Powell, Shadow Education Secretary
Heidi Alexander, Shadow Health Secretary
Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Ian Murray, Shadow Scotland Secretary
Gloria De Piero, Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration
Lilan Greenwood, Shadow Transport Secrtary
Kerry McCarthy, Shadow Environment Secretary
Hilary Benn, sacked as Shadow Foreign Secretary
17.46: Lord Falconer, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor, has resigned. Falconer served under Tony Blair as a minister. Earlier this year he had argued against other Labour MPs rocking the party’s boat and advocated giving Corbyn the space and time to do his job.
17.35: Tom Watson, deputy leader of the party, has said he is “deeply disappointed” about Benn being sacked and “equally saddened” by the eight shadow cabinet resignations that have taken place so far.
This is the first comment Watson, who was in Glastonbury last night, has made about today’s events. It’s doesn’t appear to be a statement of support for the coup but nor is it yet apparent whether he is condemning MPs’ actions.
Here’s Tom Watson’s statement in full
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 26, 2016
17.29: The transport union the RMT, which backed Corbyn’s leadership bid despite not being affiliated to the party, has written a statement in support of Corbyn.
The union’s General Secretary, Mike Cash, argued that the EU referendum result was not Corbyn’s fault and urged the party to unite. He noted that Corbyn has the support of many trade unionists and that infighting only weakens the party.
Here’s his statement in full:
“By peddling the ludicrous notion that Jeremy is some how responsible for the EU referendum result, Jeremy’s critics are in fact insulting the intelligence of voters and in doing so further alienating millions of natural Labour supporters who are quite capable of making up their own minds and who voted for what they believed in.
“After a divisive referendum, and with the Tories on the ropes, working class people want the Labour Party to unite and address their concerns, instead those attacking Jeremy risk plunging the party into civil war and handing a gift to the Tories
“Jeremy has renewed the faith that many rank and file trade unionists have in the Labour Party which is vital in helping Labour assist in maintaining and increasing support amongst it’s base. Trying to force him from office will weaken not strengthen the Labour Party.”
17.23: Jamie Bramwell member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has released a statement in support of Jeremy Corbyn: As a Labour Party NEC member I am appalled and disgusted at the behaviour of those MPs in OUR party who wish to undermine OUR leader, Jeremy won the leadership contest with an overwhelming majority and some MPs need to respect the membership of OUR party. #KeepCorbyn
Jennie Formby a NEC member and South East Regional Secretary of Unite has also made it clear she supports Corbyn and slammed MPs who are trying to remove his as leader:
As an NEC member I'm appalled at MPs choosing to create major rifts in Labour at a time when Tories have never been more divided #KeepCorbyn
— Jennie Formby (@JennieGenSec) June 26, 2016
17:16: It seems that the Communication Workers Union has released a statement in support of Jeremy Corbyn. This adds to support he has received fro Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite.
— Dave Ward (@DaveWardGS) June 26, 2016
16.52: Vernon Coaker,Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has resigned. That makes him the eighth shadow cabinet member to resign.
16.35: Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, resigned earlier today. She has just released her resignation letter, in which she tells Corbyn she does not believe the party can unite under his leadership. You can read it here:
It is with regret that I confirm I have resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. Here is my resignation letter. pic.twitter.com/sUqB4Cby0R
— Seema Malhotra (@SeemaMalhotra1) June 26, 2016
15.59: It appears an emergency NEC meeting has not been scheduled, as earlier reported. Paddy Lillis chair of the NEC: said There has been no discussion with me from anyone regarding an NEC meeting. As chair I would expect to be one of the first to be asked to consider a meeting.
15:18: Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, has criticised Labour MPs trying to oust Jeremy Corbyn for plunging Labour into an “unwanted crisis”.
He has slammed Hilary Benn and others for turning Labour “inward” and letting “the Tories off the hook”. He has also dismissed claims that Corbyn is to blame for the referendum result, saying:
Corbyn was honest and straightforward about a complex question. There is no more sense in blaming him than there is in blaming Margaret Hodge for the fact that her constituency was one of the very few in London to vote to leave the EU
In an article for the Guardian, McCluskey accepted Corbyn to broaden his message but stated that Corbyn would be on the ballot if another leadership contest was called – to fail to include him would be “undemocratic”, he said. The union leader also said he is confident Corbyn would win another contest.
He writes that MPs should be focussed on the task at hand, instead of focussing on internal feuds:
Surely Labour’s priorities are first of all to ensure that Brexit is not at the expense of working people, that employment rights are secured and jobs protected. We need to fight might and main against those Conservatives who see Brexit as a mandate to introduce a free-market utopia at the expense of working people.
We also have a responsibility to speak out against racism and offer reassurance and support to people of all races and nations living in Britain today.
14.47: Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, has hit out MPs trying to destabilise Corbyn. He took to Twitter to criticise “self indulgent part games” and deemed the coup “orchestrated treachery”. Flynn joins Labour MPs such as Andy Burnham, Diane Abbott, Cat Smith and Richard Buregon in defending Corbyn.
Crisis ahead!…… If all the Blairites resign from the Shadow Cabinet who will be left to leak the confidential business to the press?
— Paul Flynn (@PaulFlynnMP) June 26, 2016
Orchestrated treachery. Resignations on the hour by the future BLAIR TRIBUTE PARTY.Self-indulgent party games as steel jobs are in new peril
— Paul Flynn (@PaulFlynnMP) June 26, 2016
14.39: An emergency meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the governing body and administrative body of the party, is being called to discuss the unfolding situation.
Breaking: An emergency meeting of Labour's NEC could be called to discuss the situation.
— Conor Pope (@Conorpope) June 26, 2016
14.35: Andy Burnham, shadow Home Secretary, has said he won’t resign from the shadow cabinet. He tweeted the following comments, saying he respected the mandate members had given Corbyn last September.
Burnham is also running to be the candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester.
14.25: The full list of who’s gone so far:
- Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary (Sacked last night)
- Heidi Alexander, Shadow Health
- Gloria De Piero, Shadow Young People and Voter Registration
- Ian Murray, Shadow Scotland
- Lucy Powell, Shadow Education
- Kerry McCarthy, Shadow Environment
- Lilian Greenwood, Shadow Transport
- Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13.59: Momentum have called for an Emergency Action to keep Corbyn as leader. They have e-mailed party members asking them to protest outside Parliament tomorrow at 6pm during the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting. The e-mail reads as follows:
The future is uncertain. After a Brexit vote we are in a time of national crisis, Cameron has resigned and we will likely have a general election with the potential of Britain lurching yet further to the right.
A small number of Labour MPs are using this as an opportunity to oust Jeremy, disrespect the Labour membership who elected him and to disregard our movement for a new kind of politics.
We cannot let this undemocratic behaviour succeed.
Join us at 6 pm outside Parliament tomorrow, Monday 27 June.
The Parliamentary Labour Party will be meeting inside, so let’s make sure they can hear us, the Labour Party members and voters outside.
13.45: Seema Malhotra, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and McDonnell ally, is reported to have resigned. However it’s also thought that Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, is likely to back Corbyn. Michael Crick, political correspondent at Channel 4, said he had spoke to McCluskey:
Len McCluskey tells me he's spoken to Tom Watson this morning and is confident Watson will back Corbyn
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) June 26, 2016
13.39: There are rumours that Neil Findlay, Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Lothian, is being considered for the position of Shadow Scotland Secretary – it doesn’t seem there is a rule against MSPs serving in the shadow cabinet. However, Findlay did refuse to serve in Kezia Dugdale’s shadow cabinet.
13.18: Lucy Powell, shadow education, has also resigned. She described Corbyn’s position as “untenable” after saying he was a “principled and kind colleague”. She wrote to Corbyn “I do not have the confidence that you can bring the Party together”. Here’s her letter in full:
I've just spoken to Jeremy Corbyn to tell him that with regret I'm resigning from the Shadow Cabinet. pic.twitter.com/deLbWYaczd
— Lucy Powell (@LucyMPowell) June 26, 2016
13.15: Kerry McCarthy, Shadow Environment Secretary, has reigned – meaning that five MPs have now gone.
12.49: Lilian Greenwood, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, has resigned. That takes the number of MPs who have done so up to four.
12.31: Jon Trickett, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has reportedly given Corbyn is 100% backing. The Guardian’s Anushka Asthana has reported the following:
Jon Trickett tells me country needs strong opposition to give alternative vision of UK outside EU to Gove and Farage. He backs Corbyn 100%
— Anushka Asthana (@AnushkaAsthana) June 26, 2016
12.05: Len McCluskey has reportedly given Jeremy Corbyn 100% backing and said this coup attempt is futile.
11.47: Ian Murray, Shadow Scotland Secretary, has become the third shadow cabinet minister to resgin.
11.39: Emily Thornberry, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, has come to Corbyn’s defence. She urged the Parliamentary Labour Party to think of the country and stop the infightings.
She says she’s surprised by the resignations and pointed out that criticisms were not clearly voice at the meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party on Friday. On Murnaghan she said: the UK needs leadership and it is incumbent upon the opposition to do that.
11.20: Gloria De Piero has resigned. She has stated her reasons in resignation letter (see an extract below), in which she says she does not believe Corbyn can “deliver a victory at a general election”.
I have always enjoyed a warm personal relationship with you and I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve in your shadow cabinet. I accepted that invitation because I thought it was right to support you in your attempt to achieve the Labour victory the country so badly needs.
I do not believe you can deliver that victory at a general election, which may take place in a matter of months. I have been contacted by many of my members this weekend and it is clear that a good number of them share that view and have lost faith in your leadership.
11.18: Ivan Lewis, one of the candidates for Greater Manchester Mayor, has published a letter calling for a change in leadership. Lewis was Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland under Ed Miliband and served as a minister under the last Labour Government. He offered to serve in the shadow cabinet when Jeremy Corbyn was elected but he was told he wasn’t required, reportedly by text.
In a statement below, Lewis has said Corbyn is not capable of leading Labour back to government and asked him to resign.
My statement on the necessity for new leadership. pic.twitter.com/8EJtxw3YVi
— Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis67) June 26, 2016
11.05: McDonnell appeared on Peston directly after Heidi Alexander. He reiterated that the members decide who the leader of the Labour Party is. He said if there is another leadership that Corbyn is likely to win.
McDonnell also expressed disappointment that Labour were descending into infighting instead of focussing on the big problems facing the country after the EU referendum result.
10.53: Heidi Alexander has just appeared on Peston. She said she has no candidate in mind to replace Corbyn, a sentiment expressed by Hilary Benn earlier this morning. Like Benn she ruled herself out of standing to be leader.
Alexander said a change of leadership is essential if Labour is to win in the future.
10.40: John McDonnell has just been on Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics. He said that it’s possible there will be an election in November but that it could be called next May.
On Corbyn and the EU, McDonnell said he thinks Corbyn reflected the mood of a lot of people in the country – that they support the EU but are sceptical about it.
Amid criticism from the Parliamentary Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, McDonnell says the membership are sovereign and choose the leader. He says if they need to ask members’ again who they want to be leader, they will.
10.31: Diane Abbott has spoken out in support of Corbyn. Abbott has criticised the people who are calling for him to leave and said that this coup attempt has been in the works for some time now. Abbot has said that this has little to do with the Euro referendum and urged Labour MPs to fall in line:
This has been planned for a long time. There has been a plan to challenge Jeremy for a long time, because many have failed to reconcile themselves with his victory last year.
They have planned this for months, it would have happened almost whatever happened. They planned this for months everyone knows that. They held off for the local elections because they didn’t want to disrupt the European campaign.
I think there has been a group of MPs who have never reconciled themselves with last year’s leadership election and it has never stopped.
They are the ones who are picking a fight with the membership and we will have to see how that goes. That doesn’t exist in the Labour party rule back. If they want a new leader, they have to find a candidate and run for election.
But this idea that it is all to do with the Euro referendum, is not true.
Some of these people challenging Jeremy have themselves have big vote to Leave in their own constituency.
10.23: John McDonnell has appeared on the Sunday Politics and shot down any ideas that Jeremy Corbyn will resign. He said “Jeremy is not going anywhere, he was elected 9 months ago with the biggest mandate of any political leader in this country. The people who are sovereign in our party are the members and it’s the members who elected Jeremy.” He went on to say any shadow cabinet members who resigned would be replaced.
McDonnell said if there was another leadership contest he would not stand but Corbyn would.
There are rumours that Seema Malhotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury (and part of McDonnell’s team) has been trying to whip up support for a McDonnell leadership bid. McDonnell said he hasn’t spoke to her but thinks it untrue.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 26, 2016
10.19: John McDonnell has ruled out standing to be leader. More to follow shortly.
10.14: Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, has been spotted on his way back to London after spending a night at the Glastonbury festival
Tom Watson, Labour's Deputy leader, returns to London following a night at Glastonbury. pic.twitter.com/s1gDmzA156
— Laura Hughes (@Laura_K_Hughes) June 26, 2016
10.12: The meeting of Labour’s National Policy Forum was scheduled to take place next Saturday. It is usually attended by the Shadow Cabinet. It now looks like it will be cancelled.
10.07: There are rumours that Ian Murray, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Labour’s only MP in Scotland, is set to resign next. It’s thought he directly criticised the leadership’s handling of the referendum at Friday’s shadow cabinet meeting.
10.00: Talking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Hilary Benn said he didn’t blame Corbyn for the outcome of the referendum. However he went on to say he thought Corbyn didn’t display enough “enthusiasm”. Benn said he no longer believed Corbyn could lead the party effectively.
Benn declined to name an alternative candidate he would back in a leadership contest, if were one to be called. He said it would be up to members to decide a replacement leader.
09.54: Hilary Benn has ruled himself out as standing for leader of the Labour Party.
On the Andrew Marr show this morning he explained his decision to criticise Corbyn’s leadership and call for a replacement leader: “I wanted Jeremy Corbyn to be able to succeed…but it has become clear he is not succeeding but there is never an ideal time [to call from a replacement]…the country needs an effective opposition.”
Speaking about other shadow cabinet members and whether they should resign, he said: “It is for each individual to make their own decision”.
09.41: Heidi Alexander will be on Peston from 10.00. Follow us for updates.
09.33: There are rumours that Diane Abbott, Shadow International Development Secretary, has been promised Hilary Benn’s former post as Shadow Foreign Secretary. She’s said it’s not true:
09.21: A Labour spokesperson said they are waiting to see the extent of the revolt before they decide who will fill what positions. However, they can confirm that the positions will definitely be filled.
09.09: Roberta Blackman-Woods, Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning, last night openly criticised Corbyn’s decision to sack Benn. The only resignation so far from the shadow cabinet is Heidi Alexander but this suggests some members are unhappy with Corbyn’s decision
This is sad news indeed and I cannot understand how Jeremy thinks it will help his worsening position with the PLP https://t.co/LeC0OOdzq0
— R. Blackman-Woods (@robertabwMP) June 26, 2016
09.04: Hilary Benn will be on Marr shortly. Keep following us for updates.
09.03: Robert Peston has said “the shadow cabinet members resigning with Hilary Benn are those who voted with him on Syria plus two others”. If that’s true these are the people who are on that list:
Angela Eagle – First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Tom Watson – Deputy Leader
Gloria de Peiro – Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration
Maria Eagle – Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Lucy Powell – Shadow Education
Hilary Benn – sacked as Shadow Foreign Secretary
Heid Alexander – resigned as Shadow Health
Luciana Berger – Shadow for Mental Health
Chris Bryant – Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
Vernon Coaker – Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
So the shadow cabinet members resigning with Hilary Benn are those who voted with him on Syria plus two others. They are calling it Jexit
— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 26, 2016
08.50: There have been rumours John McDonnell is manoeuvring to become leader. A source close to McDonnell told LabourList: “It’s complete nonsense. From what I hear it’s being put about by MPs trying to cause mischief.”
08.44: Jeremy Corbyn’s office have released a statement saying he won’t resign: “There will be no resignation of a democratically elected leader with a strong mandate from the membership.”
08.39: Heidi Alexander, Shadow Health Secretary, has become the first person to resign from the shadow cabinet. She posted a statement to Twitter, in which she wrote to Corbyn: “As much as I respect you as a man of principle, I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding”. Here’s the statement in full:
It is with a heavy heart that I have this morning resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. pic.twitter.com/amBRk30RtR
— Heidi Alexander (@heidi_mp) June 26, 2016