Jeremy Corbyn says quit rumours are ‘wishful thinking’ as he pledges to serve full term as Prime Minister
Jeremy Corbyn has branded rumours that he could quit as Labour’s leader “wishful thinking” and vowed to serve a full-term if he became Prime Minister.
The opposition leader said he was “looking forward” to the possibility of becoming PM and was “surprised” at the suggestion that he would not stay in post for the whole five years.
It follows suggestions that a potential rule change allowing the party’s national executive committee to select a new interim leader if the incumbent was unable to continue was part of planning for Mr Corbyn standing down.
When asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show if he would definitely remain Labour leader ahead of and after the next general election, which is expected in the coming months, Mr Corbyn said: “It’s wishful thinking by some people.”
“I’m taking the party into the general election… to end austerity, to bring forward policies that bring about a better standard of living and better opportunities for people across this country.
“I’m enjoying doing that, I’m campaigning all the time, I did forty events during August alone all around the country.
When asked if he would serve for the full five years, he responded: “Of course. Why wouldn’t I? I’m very surprised at this question actually, what are you trying to say? I’m looking forward to the job.”
Elsewhere Mr Corbyn confirmed that he had discussed “at length” the stinging contents of a memo written by a top aide, who announced his intention to resign by the end of the year.
Andrew Fisher blasted the leader’s team for a “lack of professionalism, competence and human decency” while accusing them of a “blizzard of lies and excuses”.
He is reported to have said that he did not think the party would win a general election, adding: “I no longer have faith we will succeed.”
Mr Corbyn told the programme: “I’ve obviously seen the words that Andrew wrote, I discussed them with him at some length, immediately and he is wanting to leave in order to spend time looking after his son and to be with his wife and his family, because this is a very stressful and very full-on job and he is working with us for the rest of this year.”
When asked why he believed Mr Fisher made the specific accusations, Mr Corbyn added: “I think he said that because he was extremely distressed at that point about whatever was going on in discussions within the office at that moment.
"I would have thought that similar memos fly around the BBC every day."
The Labour leader added: “He is a great colleague, a great friend. I’ve worked with Andrew for 15 years, when I was a backbencher and many other times.
"He's a great writer, he’s a great thinker and he’s done a huge amount of work for the party.
"We get on absolutely very well, he’s promised that whatever happens in the future, he’ll be working with me on policy issues.”