Jeremy Corbyn vows to stay on until 'early next year' despite calls to step down now as Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to stay on as leader until "early next year" and said he will not "walk away" despite Labour's disastrous election result.
He confimed he will not lead the party into another election, but said he remain in post for a "period of reflection" to take place.
However many MPs and defeated candidates have called for him to stand down immediately after losing 60 seats in the worst performance since 1935.
But Mr Corbyn resisted those calls, claiming the “responsible thing” to do is stay on until a new leader is elected, the timetable for which he said will be decided by Labour's National Executive Committee and is expected in “the early part of next year”.
Many party campaigners have blamed the defeat on their leader, with former home secretary Alan Johnson saying he was a “disaster on the doorstep”.
But allies of Mr Corbyn have cited Brexit as the cause of the party’s woes, and speaking to the BBC he said: “The responsible thing to do is not to walk away from the whole thing, and I will not do that.”
He added: “I’m obviously very sad at colleagues that lost their seats and very sad for many people in this country who will now have a government that is continuing the policies of austerity.”
Speaking after he retained his Islington North seat, Mr Corbyn defended his party’s manifesto.
He said: "All of those policies were extremely popular during the election campaign and remain policies that have huge popular support all across this country.
"However, Brexit has so polarised and divided debates in this country. it has overridden so much of a normal political debate, and I recognise that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country."
Several Labour MPs are already tipped to take his place, with Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and John McDonnell all expected to throw their hat in the ring.