Corbyn Says U.K. Labour Needs to Improve or Lose 2020 Election

  • Opposition leader speaks to lawmakers after election result
  • Describes outcome as `mixed' and urges loyalty to party

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K. opposition Labour Party, acknowledged he’s currently on course to lose the next general election as he attempted to reset his relationship with his members of parliament.

Labour suffered a series of blows in local and regional elections across the U.K. last week, slumping to third place in Scotland for the first time in a century, and losing seats on English councils. The blessings for Corbyn were few: a victory in the London mayoral race and the fact that the outcome had been predicted to be even worse. Addressing lawmakers on Monday, he described the results as “mixed.”

“We are not yet doing enough to win in 2020,” the Labour leader was due to say, according to speech extracts for the private meeting released by his office. “This is only the first stage in our task of building a winning electoral majority.”

Corbyn went on to urge members of parliament to stop attacking his leadership and his allies, and to focus instead on the governing Conservative Party.

“I don’t expect, or even want, blind loyalty, but members and supporters expect us all to focus on taking on the Tories –- and for our debates to be focused on policy, not personality,” he said. “Members also tell me that they don’t think Labour MPs should be parading on the media to give a running commentary on our party. If we are on the media we are there to give our verdict on this failed and divisive government, not on each other.”

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