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Len McCluskey: Jeremy Corbyn should be in no hurry to resign if Labour loses election

Len McCluskey: Jeremy Corbyn should be in no hurry to resign if Labour loses election
2 min read

Jeremy Corbyn should not resign immediately if Labour loses the election, according to Len McCluskey.

The Unite boss, a key ally of the Labour leader, said there should be "a period of reflection" if the Tories are re-elected.

John McDonnell said last month that he and Mr Corbyn would both quit in those circumstances.

But in an interview with the New Statesman, Mr McCluskey said that should not automatically be the case.

He said: "Obviously I’m not expecting Jeremy to lose. Jeremy would have to make a decision, along with other sections of the party. We would have to look at things – that’s why I say a period of reflection.

"Back in 2015, Ed Miliband resigned the following day. I think that was wrong of him to do that. You always need a period of reflection.

"The one thing I know about Jeremy Corbyn is that his election four years ago has changed British politics forever, and therefore we need to consider what this all means. We need to consider the election result.

"If it was a defeat – a defeat that I’m not expecting – then we’d have to look at the scale of that, and where it happened. That requires some calm deliberation. So whilst I don’t expect it, I certainly feel that there would have to be a proper debate and discussion."

Asked who might succeed Tom Watson as Labour's deputy leader, or Mr Corbyn if he quits, the union chief said there were "lots of young, talented people" in the party's ranks.

He said: "There’s lots of young, talented female representatives: Becky Long-Bailey, of course, Angela Rayner, Laura Pidcock, the Lisa Nandys of this world. There’s young males: Dan Carden, Richard Burgon.

"There’s lots of talent, and there’ll be new talent coming through. I know a number of Labour candidates who I believe will be elected, and what an exciting bunch they are: young, committed, radical."


Elsewhere in the interview, Mr McCluskey also warned that Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could lead to loyalist violence on the streets of Britain.

He said: "The current deal puts a border down the Irish Sea. That’s unbelievably dangerous.

"Have we got to wait for people to be blown up and killed? Whether these ports are in Stranraer or Pembroke or in Holyhead, or the areas in Northern Ireland where there’s going to be checks.

"Do the media not understand that loyalist paramilitary groups are meeting almost on a daily basis in Northern Ireland? It is incredibly reckless and dangerous."

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