By Laura Mowat:Sunday Express
IN an unprecedented coup, seven MPs have chosen to leave Jeremy Corbyn’s Cabinet in an historic, organised bid to bring down the leader of the Labour party after he sacked shadow foreign secretary Hillary Benn.
On the hour, every hour an MP has left the cabinet. Heidi Alexander, Ian Murray, Lilian Greenwood, Lucy Powell, Kerry McCarthy, Seema Malhotra and Gloria De Piero have all announced they have resigned from their posts.
A succession of shadow ministers have resigned today as they do not believe Jeremy Corbyn is an adequate leader for the Labour Party.The Labour MPs Heidi Alexander, Ian Murray, Lilian Greenwood, Lucy Powell, Kerry McCarthy, Seema Malhotra and Gloria De Piero have all resigned so far in the chaotic coup.
This comes as Andy Burnham MP has said that he will not resign in the Labour coup.The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is remaining defiant and has said that he will not step down.Labour MPs Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffrey have sent a letter to all Labour MPs saying:
“The Conservative Party is deeply divided and that should be an opportunity for us, but it is clear that many traditional Labour voters feel that our Party no longer speaks to their values”.They warn “that under Jeremy’s leadership we could be looking at political oblivion” in a general election and that UKIP is “targeting our traditional heartlands”.
This comes as Labour MP Ivan Lewis, who hopes to become Mayor of Greater Manchester, is calling on leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign.In a statement to the Labour leader, Ms Alexander said: “It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to you to resign from the Shadow Cabinet.
“The result of the referendum last week means that our country is facing unprecedented challenges.”Those who will be hit hardest by the economic shock associated with the vote to leave the EU need a strong opposition, as do those communities who fear rising levels of intolerance, hatred and division.
“More than ever, our country needs an effective opposition which can hold the Government to account and which is capable of developing a credible and inspiring alternative to an increasingly right-wing and backward looking Conservative Party.
Heidi Alexander ✔ @heidi_mp
It is with a heavy heart that I have this morning resigned from the Shadow Cabinet.
“As much as I respect you as a man of principle, I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding and I believe that if we are to form the next Government, a change in leadership in essential.”
Jeremy Corbyn refused to resign yesterday in a press conference, called after MPs tabled a motion of no confidence in the beleaguered leader following his woeful performance in the EU referendum campaign.
Talking on ITV this morning, Ms Alexander said: “Could I hand on heart say that I felt Jeremy was the best person to be leading the Labour Party in developing the answers that the country is now demanding?
“I didn’t feel I could do that and whilst its a very difficult decision for me to take I felt the only decent and honourable thing to do was to resign.
“I think there are a fair number of people who do feel similar to me.
“This is a very difficult time for all of us it’s not a decision that we want to take bit some of the time you have to take tough decisions in politics .
“I know a lot of my colleagues will be asking themselves similar questions to the one I’ve asked myself.”
In the early hours of this morning Mr Corbyn sacked Hilary Benn from his position, as he tried to stage a coup to oust him.
Twitter users have ridiculed the politician for dating her resignation letter for last year, 2015.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna tweeted that Mr Benn “is one of the finest Shadow foreign secretaries we’ve ever had and one of the nicest men in politics. Crazy to sack him.”
MP Ivan Lewis also took to Twitter to share his statement about why he believes that Mr Corbyn should stand down.
Ivan Lewis For Mayor ✔ @IvanLewis_MP
My statement on the necessity for new leadership.
5:50 PM – 26 Jun 2016
In her resgnation letter, Ms De Piero said: “I have always enjoyed a warm personal relationship with you and I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve in your shadow cabinet. I accepted that invitation because I thought it was right to support you in your attempt to achieve the Labour victory the country so badly needs.
“I do not believe you can deliver that victory at a general election, which may take place in a matter of months. I have been contacted by many of my members this weekend and It is clear that a good number of them share that view and have lost faith in your leadership.”
However, Mr Corbyn this morning was defiant, saying: “There will be no resignation of a democratically elected leader with a strong mandate from the membership.”
It is expected half the shadow cabinet will follow this morning.
Another shadow cabinet minister has today told Sky News that “enough is enough” and Jeremy Corbyn has “lost the confience” of Labour supporters at all levels, starting at grass roots level all the way up to Parliament.
Rebel Labour MPs are piling pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to quit this morning.
Those expected to follow Heidi Alexander and Hilary Benn include Angela Eagle, Maria Eagle, Andy Burnham and Chris Bryant today.
One Twitter user wrote this morning: “Labour party now imploding: Brexit live: Heidi Alexander first shadow minister to resign after Hilary Benn sacking.”
Another has described Ms Alexander as a “formidable” politician.
Heidi Alexander ✔ @heidi_mp
It is with a heavy heart that I have this morning resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. pic.twitter.com/amBRk30RtR
Charlotte Benson @chuckiestealady
@heidi_mp thank you for fighting for the NHS so hard. I’m begging you not to resign from your constituency also; Lewisham needs you!
4:26 PM – 26 Jun 2016
One of her constiuents took to the social media platform to thank the politician and begging her not to resign as an MP too.
Another said: “You were my MP and I had a lot of respect for what you did. But stop the infighting and fight for our future instead.”
Many people are angry about the result of the EU referendum and almost three million people have signed a petition calling for another one.
John McDonnell has called for the Labour party to not divide at this critical time.
Talking to Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics show, he said: “Jeremy Corbyn is not going anywhere. I know how disappointed people are at the loss of the European Referendum, but now is the time to hang together.
“The support for Jeremy Corbyn is enormous.”
He was adamant that he would not stand for Labour leadership and the Labour Party is on the pah of building a majority leadership.
Former Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls, appearing on Peston on Sunday, said Corbyn’s disastrous EU campaigning had managed to alienate both Leave and Remain supporters.
He said: “There is going to need to be a change if Labour is to step up to the plate and show it’s got a vision for the future which is about uniting the country and also being able to shape this negotiation.
“The reality is Jeremy Corbyn, at a time when you have a big divide between urban Britain which wanted in and heartlands and rural Britain which wanted out – Jeremy Corbyn has actually managed to alienate both sides.”
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock has said on the BBC Sunday Politics show that the Labour Party needs a strong negotiator, which is something that Jeremy Corbyn is not.
Ian Murray ✔ @IanMurrayMP
UK Labour needs new leadership to take the country forward. Today I have resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. (2/2)
7:12 PM – 26 Jun 2016
Lucy Powell MP ✔ @LucyMPowell
I’ve just spoken to Jeremy Corbyn to tell him that with regret I’m resigning from the Shadow Cabinet.
7:56 PM – 26 Jun 2016
He said: “I have a huge amount of respect for Jeremy Corbyn but not as a negotiator.”
MP Ian Murray wrote in his statement of resignation that the Labour Party reqires a “strong opposition capable of holding the Government to account”.
Almost 200,000 people have signed a petition backing Jeremny Corbyn and calling for him to resign.
Labour political blogger Emma Burnell has criticised Mr Corbyn for his incompetence.
Labour MP Wes Streeting also said that the party needs someone else to be leader who can bring the party together.