Labour leader apologises
LONDON – Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have apologised over Labour’s “catastrophic” defeat in Thursday’s election, which saw them lose 59 seats.
Corbyn said he was “sorry that we came up short”, while McDonnell told the BBC he “owns this disaster”.
The leader and shadow chancellor said they would step down in the new year.
The race for their replacements has already begun, with Wigan MP Lisa Nandy saying for the first time she was “seriously thinking about” running.
McDonnell said it would be up to Labour’s National Executive Committee to decide the mechanics of the leadership election, but he expected it to take place in eight to ten weeks’ time.
Labour suffered its worst election result since 1935 on Thursday and saw its vote share fall by eight points.
The Conservatives won a Commons majority of 80 – the party’s biggest election win for 30 years – sweeping aside Labour in its traditional heartlands.
Corbyn apologised to Labour supporters in two articles in the Sunday papers, calling it a “body blow for everyone who so desperately needs real change in our country”.
Writing an open letter in the Sunday Mirror, he said he took his “responsibility” for the result but insisted he remained “proud” of the party’s campaign.
He doubled down in the Observer, saying his own election campaign had successfully re-set the terms of debate and his manifesto would be seen as “historically important”. (BBC)