WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn tells Labour MPs 'now is the time to come together'

Posted On: 
4th July 2016

Jeremy Corbyn today insisted he will not resign as Labour leader and told his rebel Labour MPs: "Now is the time to come together."

Jeremy Corbyn has made an appeal for unity to Labour MPs
Credit: 
Labour Party

In a film posted on his Twitter page, a defiant Mr Corbyn said he was "carrying on" in the job, despite mounting calls for him to quit.

More than 60 members of Labour's frontbench have stood down in the past week, while 172 MPs - three-quarters of the total - last week backed a motion of no confidence in their leader.

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Former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle this morning said she was ready to challenge Mr Corbyn if he did not resign.

But addressing his leadership woes directly, he gave no indication that he was preparing to relinquish his duties.

Wearing an open-necked shirt and sitting in his office, he said: "Only nine months ago, I was very honoured to be elected leader of our party with 60% of the vote.

"I have a huge responsibility, I’m carrying out that responsibility and I’m carrying on with that responsibility.

"I want to reach out to all our members, to all our supporters, to all our trade union affiliates and to my colleagues in parliament: come together, now, to oppose this Tory government. Come together now to campaign for housing, for jobs, for schools, for hospitals, all the things that we, the Labour party and the Labour movement, absolutely believe in.

"Since my election as leader of our party last year, we’ve won every parliamentary by-election, some with vastly increased majorities. Two-thirds of our supporters voted to Remain in the European Union. And we overtook the Tories in the local government elections. We’ve forced them back on tax credits, forced them back on police cuts, forced them back on personal independence payments for those with disabilities, forced them back when they tried to academise every school in the whole country.

"When we do things together, we’re very strong. Now is the time to come together. Membership has gone up by more than 60,000 in one week; we’re now on the biggest membership we’ve been, certainly in all of my lifetime.

"That membership wants and expects all of us, me as leader and Members of Parliament, to work together in their interests. The interests of everyone in this country, to achieve a better society, better standards of living and real equality in the future. That’s what the Labour party stands for."

PoliticsHome understands that talks are going on behind the scenes between deputy Labour leader Tom Watson and Mr Corbyn's office in a bid to persuade him to stand down "with his dignity intact".

One rebel MP said: "He is under a lot of personal pressure and is not enjoying it.

"Even people who voted for him last year are saying they won't do it again next time, so his position isn't as strong as he thinks it is."