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Labour's Corbyn rebuffs calls to resign after Copeland election loss


brussels bureau

Labour's Corbyn rebuffs calls to resign after Copeland election loss

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has rebuffed calls to quit after losing a key by-election to the Conservatives.

He said that he was not to blame for the defeat in Copeland.

According to Corbyn, Labour’s “message was not enough to win through in Copeland”, but he praised the party’s victory in Stoke-on-Trent.

“Labour will go further to reconnect with voters and break with the failed political consensus,” he said.

Corbyn has in the past expressed eurosceptic views, but officially backed Remain during the referendum campaign.

He told supporters that despite the upset in Copeland, northern England, he still backed Britain leaving the EU.

“Labour is determined that Britain will not turn in on itself but instead play a proactive and positive role in Europe’s future outside the European Union but working with our friends and colleagues all across this continent,” he said.

“We can rise to the democratic challenge set before us to represent the whole country and bring people together by putting forward a progressive vision for a post-Brexit Britain. That is the course we’ve taken,” Corbyn told delegates.

Labour beat UKIP in one by-election on Thursday in Stoke-on-Trent, a working class and staunch Leave voting area. That came after former Labour PM Tony Blair urged for a rethink on Brexit.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May rallied around winning candidate Trudy Harrison in Copeland, becoming the first Tory to win the seat since the 1930s.

The area was once considered a safe Labour constituency.

brussels bureau

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