The “Unity Candidate”

Accusations of weak leadership have hounded Jeremy for the past year. But, since Brexit, these attacks have intensified.

The PLP and an increasingly large section of the Labour Party believe leaving the EU provides sufficient excuse for Corbyn to resign.

Yet 90% of Labour members, 63% of Labour voters and the vast majority of the PLP (including Corbyn and his team) voted to remain in the EU.

This is a resounding success.

So why, despite this success, are people desperate to blame Corbyn?

The truth is that Brexit is the failure of Number 10, not Islington North. Responsibility lies solely with David Cameron.

People can talk about Corbyn’s “failures.” But would he have “failed” if he had the support of the PLP?

When Jeremy was elected 9 months ago, he created the most diverse Shadow Cabinet ever assembled. Over 50% of posts were filled by women.

This was done without the help and support of Yvette Cooper, Harriet Harman, Caroline Flint, Liz Kendall, Mary Creagh, Margaret Beckett, Meg Hillier or Rachel Reeves; some of the most popular and experienced women within the Parliamentary Labour Party.

The likes of Chuka Umunna, Alan Johnson, Ed Miliband and Ben Bradshaw also refused.

Almost a year later, Corbyn assembled a new Shadow Cabinet even more diverse than the first.

Over 50 resignations and a vote of no confidence totaling 81% has proved two things: First, that it is very difficult to create a Shadow Cabinet in these circumstances. Second, that those willing to serve are the best ones to serve.

A Cabinet selection forged out of necessity has turned into a Cabinet of integrity.

This new Shadow Cabinet has stuck by its leader. It is willing to put its neck on the line for the sake of the membership, and almost all of it is in agreement with Jeremy on his policies, approach and leadership priorities.

Now that Corbyn has surrounded himself with allies (forming the Shadow Cabinet he should have created in the first-place), past “failures of leadership” should be dead and buried.

He now has a dedicated, responsive, energetic team to defend, reach-out and execute his policies.

Yet imagine what Corbyn could do with a fully-mobilised Parliamentary Labour Party behind him. We could destroy this government in 2 weeks.

Instead, influential figures within the PLP are demanding their own candidate – not because they want unity; but because they don’t want Jeremy.

This is not a pro-active coup. This is about self-preservation not just for MPs’ personal ambitions, but for the advancement of the New Labour agenda.

Anyone that stands against Jeremy for leadership of the Labour Party openly condemns the new politics he is trying to implement.

Treachery, back-stabbing and public abuse are features not of the new politics, but of the old.

The PLP’s search for a “unity candidate” is simply the scrambling for a candidate who would allow them to fulfill their personal ambitions and advance their own agenda.

The reason Diane Abbott, Clive Lewis and John McDonnell aren’t being discussed as leadership candidates is because the PLP doesn’t want to defend the mandate Jeremy received.

In these circumstances, unity is not possible. The members have spoken clearly. Support Jeremy, or leave the Labour Party.

Until the Parliamentary Labour Party accepts this, the Party is destined for a split – a split that history would remember as the fault entirely of the PLP and those MPs who sought to undermine him; an aggressive and undemocratic attack on the Labour Party membership.

Leadership contenders need to think. Think about the consequences of your actions. Forget your personal ambitions. Forget whether you agree with Jeremy or not. Serve your members. Serve your supporters. Serve the Party you claim to believe in.

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