Corbyn's cabinet collapse - Labour's shadow cabinet faces exodus

Labour leader confirms he won't be stepping down

Corbyn's cabinet collapse - Labour's shadow cabinet faces exodus

Photo: PA Images

The UK's Labour Party is staring at civil war as 11 members of the shadow cabinet have stepped down today.

After shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was sacked from his position in a late night call with Corbyn, 10 of his colleagues have followed him off the front bench. They are:

  • Heidi Alexander, shadow health secretary
  • Gloria de Piero, shadow children's minister
  • Ian Murray, shadow Scottish secretary
  • Lilian Greenwood, shadow transport secretary
  • Lucy Powell, shadow education secretary
  • Kerry McCarthy, shadow environment secretary
  • Seema Malthotra, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury
  • Vernon Coaker, shadow Northern Ireland secretary
  • Lord Falconer, shadow justice secretary
  • Karl Turner, shadow attorney general
  • Chris Bryant, shadow Commons leader

While members of the party are calling for Corbyn to resign following the failure of Labour heartland areas of the UK to follow the majority of the party and vote remain in the Brexit referendum, the party's leader has confirmed he won't step down voluntarily, saying he won't "betray the trust" of those who elected him.

However, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC "Jeremy is going nowhere."

He said that the Labour leader had a "strong mandate from the membership".

Mr McDonnell urged the shadow cabinet to "respect the Labour members" and said it was all about "solidarity".

A Labour spokesperson said earlier that there would be "no resignation of a democratically elected leader with a strong mandate from the membership".

Despite this, a motion of no confidence is expected to be held on Corbyn's leadership this Tuesday by the Parliamentary Labour Party. Former shadow Commons leader Chris Bryant said "We need someone new to unite and lead Labour."

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has said he is "deeply disappointed" that Hilary Benn has been sacked and "equally saddened" by the subsequent shadow cabinet resignations. He is meeting Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow to discuss the way ahead for Labour.

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said he would not be standing down and said that now was not the time for a coup.

Mr Benn said this morning that Corbyn was a "decent man" but was "not a leader".

These departures come after a day where Mr Corbyn was heckled by a Labour activist who said the vote to leave the EU in Thursday's referendum was his fault and he should resign. Mr Corbyn said he had done all he could.

Mr Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour party last September with 58.5% of the vote.