The leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn yesterday launched his campaign to be re-elected as the party’s leader and called on party members to unite against the ruling Conservative Party. He also stressed that his party could win the general elections under his leadership. Corbyn told his supporters and reporters in central London that “This party is going places. This party is strong. This party is capable of winning a general election and if I am leader of the party I will be that prime minister”. He continued by saying “This is the mission; it is the duty and responsibility of the members of Parliament to support the party against the Conservative Party”.
Corbyn was forced to enter the leadership contest in order to keep his job after most members of the Labour Party rebelled against him, and more than 30 shadow cabinet MPs resigned in protest at Corbyn’s leadership. However, he is still strongly supported by trade unions and the majority of the Labour Party’s members.
Corbyn also mentioned that “the Labour Party has become stronger” since he became leader last year, and he pointed to the sharp increase in the number of members and the achievement of good results in by-elections. Corbyn said that “the number of Labour party members has increased from less than 200,000 members to more than half a million members in just one year”. Corbyn’s rival for the leadership of the party Owen Smith said that he was a “trustworthy” substitute and that he could lead the Labour Party to a victory at the next general election, as opposed to Corbyn.
Angela Eagle pulled out of the leadership contest after Smith won the backing of more members of parliament in a party ballot. Smith, 46, a former BBC journalist has become Corbyn’s sole rival for the leadership after the deadline for submitting nominations passed on Wednesday.