If the party membership chooses to keep Corbyn as their leader, it will show a trenchant divide between voters and MPs. The final result can only be a further fractured Labour Party

 

Following the failure of his restrained role in the EU Referendum and the sacking of Hilary Benn, Labour MPs in the Shadow Cabinet, began to show a lack of faith in their leader. Rival Angela Eagle resigned first, whilst Margaret Hodge began a vote of no confidence. This action won by 172-40 and sparked a leadership contest against Corbyn from Eagle, joined later by Owen Smith. If MPs really want Corbyn gone they need a two-way battle, unifying under either Eagle or Smith and avoiding a popularity split.

Clearly a majority of MPs and the local representatives of the Labour Party, are understandably disenchanted with Corbyn’s leadership. Despite this, the public are somehow retaining their support for their leader, passing off his majority opposition as a Blairite coup. Many members who intend to vote for Corbyn are unaware however of the damage this support could cause to Labour’s future.

If members keep Corbyn, despite almost three-fourths of his MPs voting against him, clearly the Labour Party has no unity. Not only will internal decision making be difficult, but also Labour’s appeal against a newly unified Conservative Party under Theresa May. With such a divide the party will have no choice but to split both ideologically and physically, with a majority membership continuing to be drawn to Corbyn’s naïve idealist rhetoric while fellow MPs retain their disbelief in these same principles.

Corbyn talks of his love and passion for the Labour Party. If this is true, he needs to stop acting with self-interest and hand over control to someone who can unite, appeal, and take the party forward. The new direction should be towards centre-ground and away from Labour’s current controversial far-left image.

 
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