My Thoughts: Labour Leadership Crisis

The county’s in a mess. British Politics is in a mess. Both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party are in a mess; there’s no doubt about that. Things need sorting out, and they need sorting out fast.

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader I felt a sense of hope. No, I didn’t vote for him, but I still felt the optimism in the party and among the members. Corbyn had been elected with a huge mandate, and had inspired tens of thousands of people to join the Labour Party. More people have joined the Labour Party after Corbyn was elected than the entire membership of the Conservatives. I felt that we were going to start a new era for the Labour Party, but I realise that it was just never to be.

I was hugely disappointed with the EU referendum result last Friday, because I feel like we could have done more to convince people to vote remain and to put our case forward for staying in Europe. For his whole political career, Corbyn had been Eurosceptic which surprised me when he announced that he would be campaigning to keep Britain in the EU. I feel that Corbyn didn’t convince as many people as he could have convinced. Polls suggest that around 37% of Labour supporters decided to vote against the party’s stance which annoys me because I believe that the party had a very strong case for staying in Europe. I don’t think Corbyn raised his argument well enough in the media, and I think at times he was too quiet, or not passionate enough. For example, on his appearance on The Last Leg, he was asked “on a scale of 1 to 10, how passionate are you about staying in the EU?” and his response was “7 and a half.” Had Corbyn been a 10, there is a higher chance that we would have convinced more voters to remain.

I feel that Corbyn hasn’t been strong enough at PMQs and has allowed David Cameron and the Tories to walk all over him. Despite being the more decent person, the majority of the public only care about who can perform better in the House of Commons. Unfortunately most of that majority believe Corbyn is outperformed every week.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire Jeremy Corbyn and believe he has brilliant and humble political views- in a perfect world we’d all want him as Prime Minister, I’m sure. But unfortunately I cannot see him winning the next election, and we need a strong leader to stand up to Michael Gove/Boris Johnson/Theresa May, or whoever the next Conservative leader may be. It’s not just one or two MPs who disagree with him, it’s about three quarters of the Parliamentary Party. Having lost the vote of no confidence, I feel the respectable thing for Corbyn to do would be to resign. Yes, he has a huge mandate from Labour supporters, but you can’t win an election just by having the support of your own members. You need to consider who would be the appropriate choice of a leader who could win an election. At the end of the day, it’s a choice between having Corbyn as leader or having a Labour government.

However, I do not agree with the infighting and the behaviour of MPs who oppose Mr Corbyn. I think it is immature and unprofessional to publicly criticise your own leader, especially when the country is so divided. I condemn the personal attacks on Mr Corbyn and believe that their differences should be settled in a civilised manner.

In conclusion, ideally I would like to see Andy Burnham or Dan Jarvis become leader of the party as I believe they could unite the members and the Parliamentary Labour Party, as well as being a strong opposition to the Tories.

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