Corbyn reasserts authority over divided Labour party
Newly re-elected British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for unity in his deeply divided party, but risked antagonising his own lawmakers by promising more power to his grassroots supporters.
The veteran left-winger was confirmed in his position on Saturday with 61.8 per cent of the vote among party members and supporters, seeing off a challenger backed by most of his more centrist lawmakers, who believe he can never lead them into government.
The main opposition party remains bitterly split between left-wingers and moderates, at a time of major change in Britain as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government negotiates the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.
In his acceptance speech at the party conference in Liverpool, northwest England, Corbyn pledged to “wipe the slate clean” after accusations of bullying and fears of an irreparable breach in the century-old movement.
The 67-year-old said on Sunday he was “reaching out” to his critics – but his proposal to give more decision-making power to party members risks being seen as an attempt to sideline MPs.