'MPs don't own this party' – Labour MP Barry Gardiner blasts no confidence vote for Jeremy Corbyn

'MPs don't own this party' – Labour MP Barry Gardiner blasts no confidence vote for Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has lost a no confidence vote

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A motion of no confidence has been passed against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but Barry Gardiner, the shadow minister for energy & climate change, says it should never have been done in this manner.

The vote comes after most of the shadow cabinet resigned, with many questioning the way Corbyn handled the referendum campaign. The result was 172-40, but the leader says he won't resign, and he will stand by the Labour party membership, who voted him in as leader nine months ago.

Gardiner believes the public will not view the no confidence vote favourably.

"Why did anybody chose this time to have an internal Labour party battle?" he asked Sam Delaney. "I think [the public will] think that's very self-indulgent indeed, and I regret it deeply.

"This constant attempt to undermine, and force a resignation, that's a effectively a coup by the MPs themselves. MPs don't own this party, its not the property of MPs.

"There's a job to do, which is to oppose this government, at a time when we've been taken out of the European Union," he added.

"Where there's potential for the United Kingdom itself to break up, where people have lost 12 per cent of their pension annuity funds, where we have seen the pound fall to a 35-year low, it's absolutely essential the opposition is standing at the dispatch box."

In order to actually change the party leader, a vote for a new candidate must take place, which the MP for Brent North claims is the only thing that should have been done in this situation.

"A leadership challenge could have happened on Friday morning. If a candidate with 50 nominations had come forward and said, 'I want to stand against Jeremy in a leadership challenge,' then we would have just gone straight to the whole process of a leadership contest, without all the vitriol and nastiness," he explained.

"If there is a leadership contest and the membership still re-elect Jeremy as our leader, I hope that those members who felt their judgment was better than the party members will accept the situation.

"I do regret the way in which this has happened, because it has not happened in conformity with the process and rules of the party, and that means its become personalised.

"Its become personalised not just against Jeremy but by comrades and friends within the party turning upon each other."