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Redbridge Labour councillors divided over Jeremy Corbyn

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 July 2016

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The borough’s Labour councillors are split in their views of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party.

Mr Corbyn looks likely to face a leadership challenge, after he lost a motion of no confidence by 172 MPs on Tuesday.

But more than 240 local councillors, including 10 from Redbridge, have signed a letter backing the Labour leader, and described moves against him as “totally self-indulgent”.

Cllr Bob Littlewood (Lab, Seven Kings), a close friend of Mr Corbyn’s, was one of the signatories.

He told the Recorder: “From the outset a number of MPs have been plotting to try to get rid of him and this is the culmination of that.

“What I am trying to understand is what policies they are against? Are they not against austerity?”

Cllr Littlewood accused the MPs of going against the party membership, which gave Mr Corbyn a landslide victory nine months ago.

Ilford’s two Labour MPs Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes have both publicly called for Mr Corbyn to resign.

Mr Streeting recently likened the Labour leader’s running of the party to that of a “cult” and said he had to “take responsibility” for the failed referendum campaign.

More than 500 other councillors penned a letter backing the revolting MPs, including a further 10 from Redbridge.

Cllr Varinder Singh Bola (Lab, Cranbrook) explained why he thought the Labour leader should stand down.

“We have a duty to those in need of a Labour Government to ensure that first and foremost we are electable, winning matters,” he said.

“However, it has become apparent that the current leadership offered by Jeremy Corbyn is failing to command the confidence of the Parliamentary Labour Party and most importantly voters at large.”

Cllr Singh Bola said he thought Labour was in danger of becoming a “toxic brand”.

“Unless Jeremy Corbyn reconsiders his position as leader of the Labour Party, we are destined to lose many good MPs and will be out in the wilderness for many more years,” he added.


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