British Labour leader Corbyn gets mass support against Blairites

This video from England says about itself:

9 July 2016

Dennis Skinner MP speaking at Durham Miner’s Gala 2016.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Gala: We stand with Corbyn

Monday 11th July 2016

(but that doesn’t stop Eagle making an ill-judged swoop for leadership)

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn received a rapturous welcome from a crowd of more than 150,000 at the Durham Miners’ Gala at the weekend, demanding he stays on as party leader.

In a swipe at Angela Eagle’s leadership bid, speaker after speaker on Saturday praised Mr Corbyn’s determination to remain as leader and the legitimacy of his position.

Ms Eagle, who quit as shadow business secretary, accused Mr Corybn of “hiding behind a closed door” over calls to step down on ITV’s Peston programme yesterday.

She claimed she was challenging Mr Corbyn “to unite the party,” even as the leader of Britain’s biggest trade union accused deputy leader Tom Watson of sabotaging talks aimed at securing unity.

But during speeches at the Gala, Labour MPs defended Mr Corbyn and suggested Ms Eagle was just another Establishment MP.

They said that the leadership fight was no more than one against Blairite MPs who don’t represent the will of the party’s grassroots.

East Leeds Labour MP Richard Burgon, praised for his staunch support of Mr Corbyn, said to cheers: “The Establishment is coming out in force and is going into overdrive.

“When you are on the verge of making history, the Establishment will try to crush you. But you cannot kill an ideology. You cannot kill solidarity.”

Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner told the Gala: “This is a battle against the Parliamentary Labour Party.

“Jeremy Corbyn does not have enough MPs to fill all the positions on the front bench. They are doing two jobs. It has been a critical time. But I tell you here that Jeremy Corbyn has measured up to task.”

The Gala field was surrounded by dozens of union banners, many from former union lodges of the Durham coalfield, which had been marched to the venue, most preceded by a brass band, and all followed by ex-miners, their families and supporters.

Union general secretaries also expressed solidarity with Mr Corbyn.

GMB general secretary Tim Roache said to cheers: “Let us back him. Let us get behind him, and walk tall in solidarity.”

TUC leader Frances O’Grady insisted that “now is the time when all working people must stand together” following the EU referendum that has seen a “radical racist right” emerge.

And Unison general secretary Dave Prentis added: “We in Unison nominated Jeremy Corbyn, campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn and want to support him as our elected leader.

“What we want more than anything is a united Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.”

Responding to Ms Eagle’s leadership bid on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, the Labour leader vowed to fight any challenge and urged her to “think for a moment” about her actions.

Mr Corbyn said he had “reached out in a way no other leader has” in an attempt to unite all parts of the party.

He insisted it would be “irresponsible” for him to quit given the mandate he won from Labour members and would consider mounting a legal challenge if his name was not on the leadership ballot.

Mr Watson said on Saturday that talks with unions to resolve Labour’s split had collapsed and there was “little to be achieved” in continuing.

But Unite general secretary Len McCluskey branded this a “deeply disingenuous manoeuvre.”

He said that contrary to Mr Watson’s suggestions, he had “made it absolutely clear from the outset of these discussions that Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation as the leader was not on the agenda.”

He also hit out at Mr Watson for announcing the end of talks without informing union leaders first.

A source close to Unite told the Star that talks had been arranged to take place in Brighton on Sunday to coincide with a trip by Mr Watson.

Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton wrote to Mr McCluskey on Friday night to say she was looking forward to the talks, only for Mr Watson to announce the following morning that they would not be going ahead.

Angela Eagle faces prospect of ‘no confidence’ vote from constituency Labour party. Former Shadow Business Secretary due to launch formal leadership challenge: here.

11 thoughts on “British Labour leader Corbyn gets mass support against Blairites

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