A defiant Jeremy Corbyn is to tell critics in his shadow cabinet that his leadership has been strengthened by Labour’s emphatic victory in the Oldham byelection and by his success in winning a majority in the party for his opposition to airstrikes.
The party leadership said the win in Oldham West and Royton in the early hours of Friday morning had proved that Labour is electable, while shadow cabinet sceptics acknowledged that Corbyn would remain in place for “far longer” than they had expected.
“Jim McMahon’s victory makes a nonsense of the claim that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party is unelectable,” a spokesperson for Corbyn said. “Now Labour has increased its share of the vote in Oldham, Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is stronger as a result.”
Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor who is a close ally of Corbyn’s, said that the win would change the dynamics in the party. In a Guardian interview he said: “All those MPs who genuinely believe that we can’t win with Jeremy, and that’s fuelled with opposition, might start to rethink. If it starts to look as if Jeremy can win the next election, they will all want jobs – they’ll get in line.”
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