Corbyn Plans Kinnock Case to Stay On

Yesterday’s Sunday Times reported that Seumas Milne is preparing to argue Jeremy Corbyn should stay on after June 8 if he matches the 30.4% Ed Miliband won in 2015. Vote share is certainly being considered by the Corbyn camp, though there is another argument in their locker. In the past ten days prominent Corbynistas have been making the case that their man should emulate Neil Kinnock, who remained as leader after the 1987 election despite losing heavily with a three-figure Tory majority. One pro-Corbyn source says: “There is a tradition of Labour leaders staying on after elections. Kinnock didn’t [resign] in ’87, Callaghan didn’t in ’79.” A second source says that Corbyn following Kinnock in staying on would be “the reasonable thing to do”. Both Callaghan and Kinnock used their leadership post-election defeat to change the Labour Party’s internal structures. The Corbynistas feel this gives them some justification in doing the same…

There is of course a great irony in Jezza invoking the Kinnock case to stay on. On 14 January 1988, the secretary of the left-wing Campaign Group of MPs told the Guardian they were “considering putting up a candidate against Neil Kinnock for the party leadership”. Who was the lefty so keen to remove a Labour leader who had just lost an election? One Jeremy Corbyn…


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