MP McDon­nell touted leader role as Cor­byn

Changes in store dur­ing tur­bu­lent week in pol­i­tics

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger

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

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