JEREMY CORBYN won a huge boost from his nearest rival in the last leadership campaign yesterday as Andy Burnham defied pressure to resign from the shadow cabinet.
The shadow home secretary, who finished a distant second in September 2015, issued a rallying call for party unity amid a co-ordinated campaign to depose Mr Corbyn.
“At an uncertain time like this for our country, I cannot see how it makes sense for the opposition to plunge itself into a civil war,” he said.
“I have never taken part in a coup against any leader of the Labour Party and I am not going to start now.
“It is for our members to decide who leads our party and 10 months ago they gave Jeremy Corbyn a resounding mandate. I respect that and them.”
It is the second time in two years that Mr Burnham has refused to take part in a Blairite-orchestrated leadership coup.
In November 2014, the Morning Star revealed how he was instrumental in foiling an attempt to oust Ed Miliband in favour of Alan Johnson.
But the plotters were forced to give up when Mr Burnham vowed to stand against Mr Johnson to stop a coronation.
Shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry, a key supporter of Yvette Cooper’s leadership campaign in 2015, accused the quitters of “letting down the country.
“We need to make sure that we put forward an alternative that looks after everyone and unites the country,” she said.