Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Key Moments from Nine Tumultuous Months

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Key Moments from Nine Tumultuous Months

Article excerpt

September 12, 2015: Elected leader by a landslide, trouncing three more mainstream rivals with almost 60% of votes, including nearly half of those cast by party members. Makes long-time left-wing ally John McDonnell shadow chancellor in one of a number of controversial appointments.

September 30: Declares that he would never launch a nuclear strike if he was prime minister. Among those angered is shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle who says they "undermine" her policy review.

October 14: Suffers Commons rebellion after dramatic late U-turn sees MPs told to vote against Government commitment to a budget surplus. Mr McDonnell admits repeatedly that it was an "embarrassing" shambles.

October 19: Insists he will not support changes to Labour's rules which would make it easier for constituency parties to deselect sitting MPs amid claims his supporters are manoeuvring to oust moderates.

November 17: Forced to clarify comments, in the wake of the Paris attacks, that he was "not happy" with UK police operating a "shoot to kill" policy. Says would support "strictly necessary force" in the event of a terror attack.

November 29: Dismisses talk of being forced out amid open revolt over his refusal to commit to a free vote for Labour MPs on the UK joining air strikes in Syria. Within days he has allowed the free vote after all, prompting Mr Cameron to seek approval, but warning opponents it means there is "no hiding place" for their views.

December 2: Some 66 Labour MPs - including 11 from the shadow cabinet - vote in favour of air strikes despite the leader's implacable resistance. The party splits are starkly illustrated by shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn making a widely lauded speech from the despatch box in favour.

December 3: Issues a message to party members and supporters saying he won't tolerate "abuse and intimidation from whatever quarter it comes" amid reports of death threats against MPs who voted for air strikes in Syria. Some MPs blame Mr Corbyn's anti-war backers.

January 7, 2016: Completes a three-day reshuffle in which three shadow ministers resigned in protest at some of the replacements. …

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