Corbyn’s mandate is over, Yorkshire MP claims

Barry Sheerman MP for Huddersfiel. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Barry Sheerman MP for Huddersfiel. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s mandate ended with his lacklustre campaign to keep Britain in the EU, MP Barry Sheerman has said.

* Three or four more Labour shadow cabinet members to resign by the end of the day

* Boos for Jeremy Corbyn in pro-EU demonstrations show his mandate is over

* Calls for Corbyn to stand down on Monday

* Time to bring back Yorkshire’s talent into the shadow cabinet by reinstating Caroline Flint and Mary Creagh

* Sacking of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn and Leeds Central MP will go down very badly with Labour voters in Yorkshire

Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield, said Jeremy Corbyn will not be protected by the large mandate of party members that helped get him elected as Labour leader in 2015.

Mr Corbyn is facing calls for his resignation this morning from MPs and a significant number of the shadow cabinet are lined up to quit their posts this morning.

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn and Leeds Central MP was sacked by the Labour leader last night after he told the leader he had lost confidence in him.

Mr Sheerman, who has represented Huddersfield since 1979, said: “Those who voted for Jeremy Corbyn are totally despondent. At a demonstration on Saturday people heckled, shouted and booed.

“A mandate lasts as long as the perception of performance does. It is a performance based mandate only as long you can show you have good leadership.

“And I say this with pain. I like Jeremy, he’s a nice man but I don’t think leader of the Labour Party is what he is cut out to be.”

Mr Sheerman said many who voted for Mr Corbyn during the Labour leadserhip have been bitterly disappointed by his campainging during the EU referendum and there are no guarantees every single one of those who paid a £3 membership fee to vote for him still wholeheartedly support him.

He said Mr Corbyn should stand down on Monday, however shadow chancellor John McDonnell said “he’s not going anywhere” in an interview with Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics.

Mr Sheerman said: “I know there’s a number of people who would like to bring pressure in our illustrious leader to stand down on Monday.

“I’m interested in getting the Labour Party in shape to win the next General Election and all of us who saw what happened on Thursday have got to do a lot of soul seraching in the party about our future and nothing should be ruled out.”

As rumours circle Wesminster this morning on how many members of the shadow cabinet are set to abandon Mr Corbyn’s leadership, he said: “I think there will be a substantial number of resignations, three or four more by the end of the day.

“We can’t go on like this. People are just realising the enormity of the switch of traditional Labour voters to a different line - and that shook us to the core.

“Six weeks ago I stood up in the Parliamentary Labour Party and begged him to use passion and commitment and use all the sources at his dispoal otherwise we are in serious danger. What I said all those weeks ago has come to pass. There was just a lack of commitment. An unwillingness to show passion and leadership.

Asked if John McDonnell should stay in post, he said: “Both need to go.”

“Who would have thought it would come to pass that there would be total meltdown in the Conservative Party and Labour Party at the same time but you have to face reality that the EU vote on Thursday has brought all of those matters to a head and they have got to be resolved and if there’s going to be a fundamental fight for the soul of the Labour Party I think it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.”

Asked how people in Yorkshire would respond to the sacking of Hilary Benn, he said: “Very badly indeed.”

“An American friend asked me ‘who are the memebrs of the shadow cabinet in your Labour Party?’. They said it’s quite difficult to remember who they are but there are three or four of them who can never be forgotten and one of those is Hilary Benn.

“That quality just isn’t there in the shadow cabinet. Many of our first rate politicians, Caroline Flint and Mary Creagh and Tristram Hunt. A whole group of them are not willing to serve under Jeremy Corbyn.”