Jeremy Corbyn 'facing Shadow Cabinet walkout after EU referendum'

Posted On: 
7th April 2016

Jeremy Corbyn could face a frontbench walkout after the EU referendum, PoliticsHome has learned.

Three Shadow Cabinet members are openly discussing resigning from Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench
PA Images

Three members of the Shadow Cabinet are openly discussing resigning their posts if Labour performs badly in next month's local elections.

But they will delay their departures until after the referendum on 23 June in case it disrupts the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

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The resignations could even start the day after the in/out poll.

Speculation is mounting that Mr Corbyn will face a leadership challenge before Labour holds its annual conference in September.

One party insider said: "Three members of the Shadow Cabinet are thinking about their futures and considering their positions.

"They won't do anything after the May elections, but decisions will be made after the referendum.

"They are making their mind up whether, by staying in the Shadow Cabinet, they are simply propping up Corbyn's leadership."

Moderate Labour MPs say the party must gain at least 400 council seats next month to show it stands a chance of winning the general election in 2020.

But polling experts predicted earlier this week that the party will actually lose 150 seats.

It is thought Labour council leaders will break ranks to openly criticise Mr Corbyn if the party has a bad night.

However, Shadow Cabinet sources have played down suggestions of a walkout.

One said: "I can't believe it will happen. It would take everyone to jump together, and that's difficult to do if you don't believe it will succeed in unseating Jeremy.

"My instinct is it won't come to anything."

Another shadow minister said: "There will be a moment, but you've got to do it when the time is right. I'm not convinced now is the time."