LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn says he has no plans to stand down as
Labour leader no matter how the party performs in the forthcoming
“I was elected leader of this party and I’ll stay leader of this
party,” Corbyn told BuzzFeed’s Jim
Waterson while campaigning in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire on
Labour lost hundreds of seats in last week’s local elections and
opinion polls suggest the party could be in for an even
worse day on June 8 when Brits vote in the general election.
Theresa May’s Conservatives had an average lead of 18.1% over
Labour in the polls as of Monday evening, according to Britain
Corbyn, though, said he will be “carrying on” even if Labour
suffers a heavy defeat in a month’s time.
“I love it, I’ve spent my life travelling the length and breadth
of this country supporting people and I’m doing it all again,”
Corbyn said, referring to the two Labour leadership elections he
contested in 2015 and 2016.
“This is the third summer running out on the road!”
Corbyn has been accused of avoiding marginal seats that Labour
must fight hard to keep retain and instead campaigning in seats
either with big Labour majorities or where the party has
virtually no chance of winning.
The Labour leader shot down this allegation, telling BuzzFeed he
is visiting a range of seats nationwide.
“I’m serious about winning the election,” he said.
“I’m serious about going out there, I’ve been in Worcester and
Leamington, I’ve been in Warrington, I’ve been in Croydon, I’m
going all over the country on this because ours is an election to
“We’re fighting a campaign to win.”
It is commonplace for party leaders to stand down in the wake of
general election defeat. Gordon Brown resigned as Labour leader
following defeat in 2010 and his successor, Ed Miliband, did the
same following defeat in 2015.
However, the current thinking within Corbyn’s circle is that
under-pressure Labour leader can replicate Neil Kinnock, who
continued as Labour leader into the 1990s despite suffering
defeat at the 1987 general election.
Corbyn is in Manchester today to officially launch Labour’s
general election campaign.
In a speech, he will warn that a victory for the Tories next
month would be a victory for “tax cheats, the press barons, the
greedy bankers, Philip Green, the Southern Rail directors and
He’ll add: “This election isn’t about Brexit itself. That issue
has been settled. The question now is what sort of Brexit do we
want – and what sort of country do we want Britain to be after