London, June 27 (IANS) The deputy leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Tom Watson on Monday told party leader Jeremy Corbyn that he had lost his authority within the parliamentary party and that if there was a leadership election, then members would be voting with that knowledge.
Corbyn was one of the leading campaigners for Britain to remain in the European Union during Thursday’s referendum. The country voted on Friday to leave the bloc.
In critical talks on Monday morning, the deputy leader set out how destabilising a wave of shadow cabinet and ministerial resignations had been for the party, but fell short of calling on Corbyn to resign, the Guardian reported.
Labour sources, including those close to the leader, admitted that a leadership election was looking increasingly likely, with Watson telling Corbyn he would do his best to hold the party together.
Monday’s meeting comes after 14 of Labour’s senior members resigned since shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was sacked on Sunday after he told Corbyn he had lost confidence in him.
The latest front-bench resignations, on Monday morning, are by shadow foreign minister Diana Johnson, shadow civil society minister Anna Turley and shadow defence minister Toby Perkins.
In response, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced a reshaped shadow cabinet, but he still faces a potential no-confidence motion from Labour MPs.
“Those who want to change Labour’s leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate,” Corbyn said.
He said he would not “betray the trust” of the Labour members who voted for him.
Labour will now have to replace a series of additional resignations.