Leader keeps sights on the Tories despite plotter’s ultimatum
JEREMY CORBYN vowed to keep calm and carry on as Labour leader yesterday as he made a direct appeal for party unity in a video message to members.
And Angela Eagle, the most senior member to resign from the shadow cabinet, ignored pleas from trade unions for peace talks and insisted she would challenge Mr Corbyn in a leadership contest if he doesn’t quit.
“There are many people, MPs, party members up and down the country, asking me to resolve the impasse and I will if something isn’t done soon,” she told Sky News, claiming that she has “the support to run.”
But Mr Corbyn struck a defiant tone in a recorded address to members posted on social media in response to Ms Eagle’s ultimatum.
“Only nine months ago I was very honoured to be elected leader of our party with 60 per cent of the votes, I have a huge responsibility, I’m carrying out that responsibility,” he said.
“I’m carrying on with that responsibility.”
Mr Corbyn urged members — including the 60,000 that have joined in the last week — trade unions and MPs to “come together” to oppose the Tories and campaign for housing, jobs, schools and hospitals.
He recalled how Labour had forced the government to scrap plans to cut tax credits, police budgets, personal independence payments for disabled people and force schools to become academies as evidence of what can be achieved by a united party.
“When we do things together we are very strong,” he said. “Now is the time to come together.”
Momentum, which would back Mr Corbyn’s campaign in any new leadership election, reported that its membership has doubled to 12,000 since the coup began.
It is also receiving £11,000 a day in small donations from around 1,500 people, it said.
“The surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn and the movement around him is extraordinary,” said Momentum organiser Adam Klug.
“Right across the country, people are making their voices heard and are determined to turn this anti-democratic Labour coup into an even bigger movement to make society more equal and democratic.”