Jeremy Corbyn: I will lead Labour in 2020

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured here with Labour's Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale, is bullish about his leadership of the national party. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
Jeremy Corbyn, pictured here with Labour's Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale, is bullish about his leadership of the national party. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
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Jeremy Corbyn insisted he was “not going anywhere” and would lead the party into the 2020 general election as he marked his first 100 days in post with a defiant message to hostile MPs.

Mr Corbyn said Labour MPs and supporters of the party should not “obsess” about him but rather put their talents to work for the party and help it return to power.

The Labour leader, who will pass the landmark today, also did not rule out a shadow cabinet reshuffle to remove critics.

Mr Corbyn has faced dissent at meetings of the Parliamentary Labour Party, which is profoundly split over his views on issues such as opposition to the renewal of Trident and air strikes in Syria.

Asked whether he expected to lead the opposition in the 2020 general election campaign, he said: “Absolutely. I’m not going anywhere.”

The Labour leader’s remarks came as shadow business secretary Angela Eagle failed to endorse Mr Corbyn as the best person to lead the party into the 2020 general election.

Ms Eagle, asked directly if she would like to see him remain leader for the rest of the Parliament, said: “We have our leader.”

The shadow minister, speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, said: “I am chair of the National Policy Forum (NPF) and my job is to try to get us in a position where we can try to have a long, hard look at why we lost.

“We lost two elections. We have got to remake our approach to the British people and we have got to come up with forward-looking policies which are all about hope, ambition and aspiration for that challenge in 2020.”

Mr Corbyn was elected in September with almost 60 per cent of 400,000 votes cast for him in Labour’s contest to succeed Ed Miliband.

He urged MPs to “recognise” the scale of grassroots support that swept him to a surprise landslide victory in the leadership election and denied that his critics were being targeted by a “mob” of Corbynite backers

Mr Corbyn said: “They should recognise that I was elected with a very large mandate from a very wide variety of people from all parts of the movement. There is no imposition of any mob.

“What there is is a development of participatory democracy. The parliamentary party is a part of the party, a very important part, but it is not the totality of the Labour party.”

He said: “I would encourage them to share their talents with all of us, not keep it to themselves.

“Some people are more difficult to reach than others. They shouldn’t obsess about me.”