Corbyn Challenges U.K. Labour Lawmakers in Bid to End Revolt

  • Leader says he has mandate from party membership to continue
  • Pledges to run again as candidate in any leadership contest

U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn challenged his detractors to stand a candidate against him as he sought to end a revolt that’s forced him to share spokesman roles among a dwindling group of supporters in Parliament.

Labour Party lawmakers in the House of Commons have the support required to trigger a leadership election but have held off declaring their candidate -- expected to be Angela Eagle -- following a surge in new party members supporting Corbyn. The beleaguered leader has cited his election in September by a majority of the membership as a mandate to stay in the job.

Members of Parliament “need to respect the democracy of our party and the views of Labour’s membership, which has increased by more than 100,000 to over half a million in the past fortnight alone,” Corbyn said Friday in an article for the Guardian newspaper. “Those who want to challenge my leadership are free to do so in a democratic contest, in which I will be a candidate.”

Corbyn lost a vote of confidence among his party’s lawmakers by 172 votes to 40 last month, a level that would have seen most other leaders resign from their post. They described his performance in the European Union referendum campaign as lackluster and accused him of being an ineffective leader and strategist, fearing that his hard-line socialist brand of politics will lead the party to a third consecutive defeat in the next general election.

In his article, Corbyn called for “leadership and a clear strategy” from Labour to protect the interests of working people as Britain negotiates its exit from the EU.

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