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Jeremy Corbyn resigns as Labour party leader after election defeat

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  • Jeremy Corbyn has announced his resignation as leader of the Labour party.
  • The party suffered heavy losses in the general election as Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won a crushing majority.
  • As the results came in, the battle to lay the blame for Labour’s defeat raged through the party.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jeremy Corbyn has announced his resignation as leader of the Labour party following the party’s crushing defeat in the general election.

He said he would remain in post while the party “reflected” on the result but would not lead the party into another general election.

A devastating night for Labour saw the party punished heavily in the north of England, where the Conservatives picked up dozens of Leave-voting seats they have never held before.

Overall, the party lost dozens of seats, making it the party’s worst result since 1935. 

The civil war that has simmered within Labour since Corbyn was elected as leader in 2015 erupted again in the early hours of Friday morning when the scale of Labour’s defeat became clear.

Corbyn’s allies rushed to blame a combination of Brexit, the mainstream media, and disloyal centrist Labour MPs as they struggled to form a narrative to explain the scale of the party’s losses.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, insisted that the party had lost because the election had been “dominated by Brexit.”

However, other figures in the party said Corbyn’s personal leadership and left-wing policy platform was the primary cause of defeat.

Caroline Flint, a former minister who was unseated by a Conservative candidate in the Leave-voting seat of Don Valley, said: “We’re going to hear the Corbynistas blame it on Brexit and the Labour Uber Remainers blaming Corbyn. Both are to blame for what looks like a terrible night for Labour. Both have taken for granted Labour’s heartlands. Sorry, we couldn’t offer you a Labour Party you could trust.”

Gareth Snell, who lost his seat in Stoke Central, said he blamed Corbyn’s “disastrous” performance for the defeat.

Phil Wilson, a centrist Labour MP, said it was “mendacious nonsense” to suggest that Brexit was the primary cause of the election result. 

“Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was a bigger problem. To say otherwise is delusional,” he said. “The party’s leadership went down like a lead balloon on the doorstep.”

Labour had hoped to repeat its performance in 2017, where the party gradually whittled away the lead of Theresa May’s Conservatives and the vote produced a hung parliament.

But Boris Johnson proved to be a more effective and popular campaigner than his predecessor, and his relentless focus on “getting Brexit done” appears to have paid dividends in Leave-voting areas of the UK.

Speculation will now turn to possible replacements for Corbyn. Frontrunners include Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner, and Emily Thornberry.

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