Jeremy Corbyn has called for ‘leadership and clear strategy’ [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

Jeremy Corbyn has called for ‘leadership and clear strategy’ [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

A common criticism of Jeremy Corbyn is that he has turned Labour into a protest movement, rather than a force capable of winning elections. We see Stephen Kinnock knocking out that sad line here.

It isn’t true, of course. Under Corbyn, Labour has increased its majority at four by-elections and increased its share of councillors – against expectations that had been stoked by the media and – let’s face it – MPs like Kinnock.

The party’s membership has expanded hugely – not due to any insurgency by the SWP, as some have claimed. That party’s 2,500 members could have been absorbed into the new intake, which is actually 128,000 members, more than 50 times.

It’s certain that not all of these are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn – organisations known as ‘Saving Labour’ and ‘Labour First’ (an ironic title, considering the neoliberals’ attitude to working people) have also been signing up members to vote against him.

Corbyn’s opponents are never likely to have the numbers in a leadership election.

But you can be sure of this – if they quit the party after a failed attempt to topple Corbyn, you can be sure his critics will say they are supporters abandoning him!

Jeremy Corbyn has hailed a 100,000-strong surge in Labour members since the EU referendum as evidence of a “political sea change” and insisted he is in tune with the new public mood, as he seeks to quash a rebellion by many of the party’s MPs.

As the government prepares to push ahead with a vote on the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent on 18 July in a bid to highlight the deep divisions in Labour over defence policy, Corbyn made it clear he would stand firm against his many critics in Westminster.

The prominent backbencher and Labour MP for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock, said the referendum result meant Labour needed “a persuader, not a protester”, to hold the Conservative government to account, through the tough negotiations with the rest of the EU that will lie ahead.

But in a defiant article for the Guardian, Corbyn said Britain needs “leadership and a clear strategy,” in the wake of the EU referendum result; and sought to claim the findings of the Chilcot report as a victory for his own style of politics.

The jump in Labour members takes the new total 503,143 – the highest number in modern history.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn stands defiant after Labour membership surge | Politics | The Guardian


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