Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour party’s leadership election by a landslide in September this year.
However, in an interview with The Sunday Times, Corbyn defiantly said that he “is not going anywhere” and insisted he would be leading Labour when it came to Britons voting for their next Prime Minister.
He slammed disloyalty within his party and even said he was “appalled” with politicians that clapped for Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn when he finished his speech about why Britain should bomb Syria.
Furthermore, he didn’t deny that there would be a “revenge reshuffle” of his cabinet when asked about disloyalty within his party.
Corbyn won the leadership vote with a 59.5% majority. While supporters complain about the media or others calling him a “radical left wing leader” the beliefs that he has are just that — radical. His policies hark back to 1970s socialism and are so much further to the left of the political spectrum than most of Labour’s politicians that a bulk are finding it hard to support its leader.
Corbyn wants to nationalise more companies, abolish austerity spending, and levy more taxes on business. He’s also hugely against welfare cuts and is super-supportive of green energy initiatives. He’s undoing years of Blairite policies that saw the Labour party evolve into “New Labour.”
This is why there has been a raft of in-fighting within the Labour party and has called into question whether Corbyn will last as the leader of Britain’s main opposition. The debate over bombing Syria in parliament summarised the huge schism between him and a lot of his MPs. Not all, but a lot.
This month, politicians voted in parliament over whether Britain should join the US and other Western forces in launching an airstrike on Syria, in order to damage one of ISIS’ (also known as Islamic State, ISIL, and Daesh) main modes in funding — oil.
In the end 397 politicians were in favour of the bombing while only 223 were against. While Corbyn made it very clear that he was against the bombing outright, dozens of Labour MPs broke rank and voted for the airstrikes — directly contradicting the Labour leader’s stance.
In fact, the speech from Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, which closed the parliamentary debate, apparently swayed a lot of opinions in favour of a bombing. Some of the public on social media even said that his rousing speech was a “mark of a leader.”
But Corbyn said he was “appalled” at MPs who clapped when Benn finished his speech. When The Sunday Times asked him whether a “revenge reshuffle” would follow due to the disloyalty in voting recent, the paper reported that he “did not deny the claims and made clear he was preparing a shake-up of his top team.”
“There will be appointments when appointments are made,” he said in response.
He also said that Labour politicians should be working with him more to represent the members that voted him in in the first place, because they share his views.
“They should recognise that I was elected with a very large mandate from a very wide variety of people from all parts of the movement,” said Corbyn. “There is no imposition of any mob. What there is is a development of participatory democracy. The parliamentary party is a part of the party, a very important part, but it is not the totality of the Labour party.”
“I would encourage them [critical Labour politicians] to share their talents with all of us, not keep it to themselves. Some people are more difficult to reach than others. They shouldn’t obsess about me.”
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