MP McDonnell touted leader role as Corbyn
Changes in store during turbulent week in politics
AMID most turbulent and unpredictable period in Westminster for decades, a very public battle is being waged at the front lines of the Labour Party.
MPs are working hard to undermine the leadership of hard-left skipper Jeremy Corbyn and, in the last 24 hours, the party leader has watched 34 members of his Shadow Cabinet resign over his ‘lacklustre’ campaigning in the lead-up to the EU referendum on Thursday June 24.
Alongside the mass resignations from his front bench, a vote of no confidence has been the tabled that is likely to trigger a leadership election. Mr Corbyn’s shadow chancellor and closest political ally John McDonnell has publicly announced he will not run for the top spot, but this has not stopped some Labour supporters calling on the Hayes and Harlington MP to step up.
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics show on Sunday (June 26) Mr McDonnell said: “No I won’t [stand].
“Some in our party and enemies of the party try to divide and rule all the time. It’s never going to happen.
“Jeremy and I have been close friends for 30 years, the best political allies.
“I will always have his back, and if he has to stand for another leadership election I will be the campaign manager.”
Mr McDonnell added that even if Mr Corbyn did not stand in another leadership election he would not throw his hat into the ring.
He previously told the Gazette why he had been campaigning to remain a member of the EU and criticised the conduct of both sides.
The shadow chancellor is currently sixth most likely to succeed Mr Corbyn according to bookmakers, with odds of 7/1, which puts him just ahead of Streatham MP and former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.
Top of the bookies’ list is Hilary Benn, whose sacking by Mr