EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Corbyn to face Shadow Cabinet calls to quit

Posted On: 
24th June 2016

Jeremy Corbyn will face calls to stand down as Labour leader at an emergency meeting of the Shadow Cabinet this morning, PoliticsHome has learned.

Jeremy Corbyn campaigning on the eve of the referendum
PA Images

The party's frontbench is set to gather at 10am in the wake of Britain's decision to quit the European Union.

But the meeting is likely to be dominated by discussions about Mr Corbyn's own future - with senior sources saying Labour is in a "blind fury" with his performance during the campaign.

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PoliticsHome has also learned that least 55 Labour MPs will put their name to a letter calling for Mr Corbyn to quit next week.

MPs have also been angered by a media briefing note sent to them at 6am claiming that as a lifelong eurosceptic, Mr Corbyn was "far closer to the centre of gravity of the British public".

The Labour leader's performance in a round of media interviews this morning, in which he called for the Government to immediately invoke Article 50 - triggering Britain's exit from the EU within two years - has also been roundly criticised by MPs.

One shadow minister told PoliticsHome: "Jeremy has shown this morning that he doesn't care about the Labour party and, more importantly, the country.

"The Shadow Cabinet are meeting this morning. They need to make it clear his position is untenable. It's now a choice between the survival of the Labour party or Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

"There is a realisation that the Shadow Cabinet need to show some leadership on this. It's up to people at the top to show their mettle."

David Cameron's imminent resignation increases the chances that his replacement will call a snap general election in order to secure his or her own mandate.

One Labour MP said the EU referendum showed that the party faces a "meltdown" in its northern heartlands if Mr Corbyn is still the leader.

"The groundswell now is that he's got to go," the MP said. "If we go into a general election in the autumn with him in charge we are screwed.

"What's got to happen now is that the Shadow Cabinet has got to have some balls and go to him and say 'you've got to go'."

Labour voters backed Brexit in their millions, primarily as a result of their concerns about high levels of immigration.

But Mr Corbyn this morning refused to acknowledge that that was an issue among his party's traditional base.

He said: "I think a lot of the message coming back from this is many communities are fed up with cuts they’ve had, fed up with economic dislocation and feel very angry at the way they’ve been betrayed and marginalised by successive governments in very poor areas of the country.

"My point throughout the campaign was we had to have an alternative to austerity, we had to have greater resources going into areas where there’s been huge changes and I strongly called for the introduction of a migrant impact fund."