Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North East MPs Back Corbyn as 11 Shadow Ministers Quit; Watson Set to Hold Emergency Talks

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North East MPs Back Corbyn as 11 Shadow Ministers Quit; Watson Set to Hold Emergency Talks

Article excerpt

Byline: DAN O'DONOGHUE Political Reporter dan.odonoghue@trinitymirror.com

A WESTMINSTER coup to topple Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has been slammed by North East MPs.

The Labour Party was plunged into turmoil on Sunday after 11 shadow ministers resigned and called for a change in leadership.

The mass walkout was triggered by the sacking of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn amid reports that he was working to co-ordinate a move against Mr Corbyn.

North East MPs were quick to jump to the defence of the embattled Labour leader and dismiss the conspirators.

North West Durham MP Pat Glass, who is also Shadow Minister for Europe, said that she would not be joining the shadow cabinet rebels in resigning.

"We are a family in the Labour Party and we should not be looking around for someone to blame for the referendum vote, I believe in democracy and we have to accept the decision that people made", she said. She added: "The membership voted for Jeremy and he is the leader, MPs must accept that."

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said: "There's been lots of plotting behind the scenes and they have been waiting for an opportunity to pounce, it didn't come at the Oldham by-election and it didn't come at the local elections - they have made their move now and I think it has the potential to tear the party apart.

"Jeremy has my 100% backing, he has the biggest mandate of any Labour leader, ever. MPs are no better than any other member and the members have spoken, they want Jeremy as leader.

"We are facing one of the most right wing Tory governments of our time and we should be fighting them, not each other."

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson added: "It's not great news, they have made a mistake and are abusing the democratic process - members overwhelmingly voted for Jeremy as leader, "This is not the time to have a leadership challenge, we should be on focusing on what is good for the country."

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah was more cool on Mr Corbyn's leadership, she said: "Jeremy has a mandate from Labour Party members and he needs to tell us how we are going to win a November or December election. …

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