Corbyn-critic Labour MP Chris Leslie loses vote of no confidence

Posted On: 
29th September 2018

A former Labour shadow chancellor has suffered a vote of no confidence from local party members. 

Mr Leslie said he was 'not going to stop speaking up for all my constituents'
Credit: 
PA Images

Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East since 2010, told PoliticsHome he "was not going to stop speaking up" following last night’s vote by members in his local constituency.

The former Shadow Chancellor has been an outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, calling his economic policies "starry-eyed" and "hard-left".

Jeremy Corbyn leads tributes to Jo Cox as Brussels square named in honour of late MP

Jeremy Corbyn tells Theresa May he is ready to agree a 'sensible' Brexit deal

Len McCluskey accuses Chris Williamson of 'undermining Jeremy Corbyn' in Labour rulebook clash

According to the New Statesman, the motion brought by members of the Mapperly branch of his local party accused him of "disloyalty and deceit", arguing that his attacks on the leadership were "incompatible" with him staying in post.

Following the vote, Mr Leslie told this site: "If the party pushes away people like me on the centre left for voicing different opinions to the leadership, then that says more about the direction of Labour than it does about me.

"I’m not going to stop speaking up for all my constituents when there are so many massively important challenges especially the threat of a disastrous Brexit."

Centrist Labour MPs meanwhile rallied around Leslie online, with former frontbencher Siobhain McDonagh writing: "Really sad to hear. Chris Leslie has been an anti-Brexit warrior for Labour and the whole country. We will look back and be so grateful for all his work."

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford, added: "Solidarity to my friend Chris Leslie, one of the hardest working and most intelligent opponents of Brexit.

"Labour needs intelligent articulate MPs. But it seems that some just want Leadership cyphers and cultist clones."

Ex-frontbencher Chuka Umunna chose to quote his party leader's conference speech, in which Mr Corbyn had called for "the freedom to disagree and debate" and a "much greater culture of tolerance".

Mr Umunna said: "Not sure everyone got the memo, so to speak."

No confidence votes carry no official force within the Labour party but local activists could hold a "trigger ballot", where sitting Labour MPs can be forced to compete for selection as a candidate against all-comers, ahead of the next general election.