UK’s Labour in turmoil as Corbyn faces revolt after Brexit
Seema Malhotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, became the latest to join seven shadow cabinet colleagues to revolt against Corbyn after foreign secretary Hilary Ben was fired.
Ben was sacked after he said he no longer had confidence in Corbyn’s leadership. Soon after, his colleague, shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander announced her resignation on Twitter.
Next to go were Gloria de Piero, shadow minister for young people and voter registration, and Ian Murray, shadow minister for Scotland.
Resignations from Lilian Greenwood, shadow minister for transport, Lucy Powell for education, and Kerry McCarthy in charge of environment, food and rural affairs, came soon after Malhotra quit.
Other members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are also expected to follow suit as many of the Labour MPs have been critical of Corbyn’s handling of Britain’s EU referendum and demanding his resignation.
The shock decision by the country to vote to leave the 28-member European Union was against the wishes of most Labour lawmakers.
“There is no confidence to win the next election if Jeremy continues as leader. In a phone call to Jeremy I told him I had lost confidence in his ability to lead the party and he dismissed me,” Ben said.
Reports suggest that Benn has been encouraging shadow ministers to resign if Corbyn ignored a motion of no confidence. “At this absolutely critical time for our country following the EU referendum result, the Labour Party needs strong and effective leadership to hold the government to account.
We don’t currently have that and there is also no confidence we would be able to win a general election as long as Jeremy remains leader,” Benn told BBC, ruling out his own ambitions to stand for party leadership.
67-year-old Corbyn faces a vote of no confidence over claims he was “lacklustre” and “half-hearted” during the EU referendum campaigning.Labour MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey had submitted a motion of no confidence against Corbyn to Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) chairman John Cryer soon after the results of the EU referendum in favour of Brexit.