Labour leadership crisis deepens as peace talks break down

Crisis talks between Jeremy Corbyn and deputy leader Tom Watson have been abandoned. Picture: Greg Macvean

Crisis talks between Jeremy Corbyn and deputy leader Tom Watson have been abandoned. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Peace talks aimed at finding a way out of Labour’s leadership crisis have been abandoned by deputy leader Tom Watson because Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to stand down means there is no chance of progress.

Mr Watson said Mr Corbyn’s declaration that he would continue “come what may” meant “there is no realistic prospect of reaching a compromise” over his future.

“It is with regret and profound sadness that I have concluded there is little to be achieved by pursuing wider conversations with our union affiliates at this time,” Mr Watson said.

“The Labour Party was founded with the explicit aim of pursuing the parliamentary path to socialism. Every Labour leader needs to command the support of their MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), as well as party members, in order to achieve that.

“It is clear to all that Jeremy has lost the support of the PLP, with little prospect of regaining it.”

A crisis meeting had been expected to take place in Brighton on Sunday before the giant unions’ conference in a final effort to break the deadlock over Mr Corbyn’s future.

Mr Watson’s statement means it is now more likely that Mr Corbyn will face a leadership contest, with Angela Eagle thought to be the most likely potential challenger.

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