Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected leader of the UK’s Labour Party beating challenger Owen Smith. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
Labour’s Corbyn pledges party unity after re-election
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party on Saturday (September 24).
The veteran left wing campaigner’s triumph, by 313,209 (61.8 percent) to 193,229 (38.2 percent) votes, cements his authority over the deeply divided party.
Welcoming the result, which hands him more votes than when he first won the leadership last year, Corbyn called on lawmakers and party members at the party’s annual conference in the city of Liverpool to come together to fight the Conservatives and bring “real change” to Britain.
“Elections are passionate and often partisan affairs, things are sometimes said in the heat of the debate, which we sometimes later come to regret. But always remember in our party we have much more in common than that which divides us,” he said to roars from the crowd of mainly his supporters.
“Let’s wipe that slate clean and get on with the work we have got to do as a party together,” he said, moving to ease fears that his re-election will widen the divide between the Labour Party’s left and right wings and that he may trigger moves to force centrist lawmakers from the party.
The leadership election was triggered after the UK voted to leave the European Union in June and Jeremy Corbyn lost support amongst the Party’s MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party, who were critical of what they saw as a poor referendum campaign by him.
Corbyn told the conference in Liverpool his anti-austerity policies had attracted thousands to Labour, helping to almost treble its membership to make it western Europe’s largest, and he was ready to lead a more democratic party to election victory in 2020.
In power for 13 years until 2010, Labour was dealt a crushing blow by the Conservatives five years later after they cast doubt on whether the party’s left-wing policies would protect the economy.
The ruling party, under new Prime Minister Theresa May, still leads by seven percentage points in opinion polls and looks set to plot Britain’s exit from the EU largely unopposed.