UK’s Corbyn Not to Quit Over Election Defeat

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn vowed to carry on leading Britain’s opposition Labor Party even if he loses a national election on June 8, defying polls showing he is on course for defeat and concerns from within his party that his leadership threatens its future.

Corbyn, who officially launched his party’s election campaign on Tuesday, told BuzzFeed News he would carry on whatever the outcome. “I was elected leader of this party and I’ll stay leader of this party,” he said. Corbyn has pledged higher taxes on

the wealthy and a crackdown on powerful corporations since he took control of the center-left Labor Party in 2015, thanks to a surprise surge in support among grass roots member for his socialist agenda.

But he has struggled to unite Labor’s elected ranks behind his political vision or convince the wider public of his leadership credentials, diminishing the party’s ability to exert pressure on issues like Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Some recent opinion polls have put Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives ahead of Labour by more than 20 percentage points and on course for a landslide victory. 

May says an election win will strengthen  her hand in Brexit negotiations, but opponents of her negotiating strategy fear it will drown out Labor’s voice in the debate over what kind of deal Britain should seek from Brussels.

Having faced criticism for being unclear of his position on Britain’s divorce from the European Union, Corbyn said the issue of whether Brexit should happen had been settled, and went on to set out his negotiating objectives. “Labor wants a jobs-first Brexit, a Brexit that safeguards the future of Britain’s vital industries, a Brexit that paves the way to a genuinely fairer society and an upgraded economy,” he said at the campaign launch in the northern city of Manchester.

Pollster ICM said on Monday that the Conservative lead was the biggest on record for any British election survey it had conducted. Corbyn fought off a challenge to his leadership last year thanks to overwhelming grassroots support, but his critics, including some senior Labor figures, have remained vocal. But Corbyn launched his campaign with an aggressive speech aimed at the party’s core voters, criticizing the Conservatives for being part of a system that he said was skewed toward the wealthy.

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