On three occasions, Corbyn’s leadership was and is still in question. The first was after the nation voted for the EU Referendum, the second during the 2017 General Election and the third, which is ongoing, the handling of anti-Semitism within the party.
Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing socialist managed to gain enough nominations from fellow MPs to stand in for the election with a clear motive, to steer the Labour Party back to their left-wing socialist roots.
As a surprise to many, Corbyn won the election with a massive mandate, greater than Tony Blair which led to many fearing Labour’s doom.
Jeremy Corbyn stated if he became Prime Minister he would take the UK out of NATO and scrap the Trident Nuclear Programme which angered many who believe this will undermine national security. Hence, the onslaught by the media, opposition parties, and fellow peers questioning Corbyn’s every move.
While the Labour Party supported to stay in the European Union in the 2016 Referendum, Corbyn is known to be critical of the European Union, therefore, after the nation voted for Brexit, some peers questioned his stance on the matter and whether he has done enough to keep Britain in the Union.
Hence, this triggered a leadership challenge after members of the Shadow Cabinet resigned from their positions and many in the party believed Labour will lose seats in a general election, therefore, 172-40 MPs voted for no confidence in Corbyn’s leadership.
Once again, Jeremy Corbyn won a larger mandate with 61.8% of votes which cemented Corbyn’s power.
In a surprise move, Theresa May who replaced David Cameron as the Prime Minister, declared an early general election in 2017. May’s plan was to use the Party’s clear advantage of 25 points in the opinion polls to secure a greater mandate to deliver a Brexit.
Theresa May’s Party relied too heavily on the opinion polls with a half-hearted campaign of attacks on Corbyn and the refusal to appear on televised debates.
Corbyn’s Labour Party won 30 seats which cost the Conservative Party their majority and forced May to sign a deal with Northern Irish Party, DUP.
To the dismay to Corbyn’s critics, he did not win the general election but managed to gain more support while the Conservative Party retained their power but felt like a defeat.
Corbyn’s public opinion polls were growing but after the poor handling of antisemitism in the Party, seven Labour MPs including Chuka Umunna and Angela Smith left the party to form an independent party in Febuary 2019.
The failure to stamp anti-semitism out of the party was scrutinised by the media, opposition parties and fellow peers while Corbyn claims he is “dealing” with anti-Semitic claims. However, 60 MPs signed up to an advert posted on the Guardian.
Unlike the other challenges, failing to stamp out any form of discrimination could prove to be damaging to Corbyn’s leadership.
Photo by Svetlana Gumerova on Unsplash
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