Jeremy Corbyn says he will not lead Labour Party in future elections after loss

Jeremy Corbyn says he will not lead Labour Party in future elections after loss
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Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the United Kingdom's Labour Party, announced that he would not lead his party in any future general election campaign after suffering a crushing defeat by the nation’s Conservative Party.

As of Friday morning, the Labour Party won 203 seats in Parliament to the Conservative Party's 358 seats. Corbyn called the loss a “very disappointing night,” saying that he would stay on as leader during a “process of reflection,” but that he will not lead the country’s main opposition party in the next election, according to the BBC.

Speaking in his own Islington district, Corbyn said the Labour Party offered voters a “manifesto of hope” in the Thursday election. The Labour leader said the debate surrounding Brexit has “polarized” British politics, overriding “normal political debate.”

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"I recognize that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country,” Corbyn said, the BBC reported. The party had promised to increase spending on public services and to renegotiate a Brexit deal, offering voters the option of remaining in the European Union.

Leaders within the Labour Party reportedly blamed Corbyn’s leadership for the loss, according to the BBC. Corbyn did not have any immediate plans to resign, and it could take until April for a new leadership election to be held.

Labour candidate Ruth Smeek, who was running in a traditionally Labour district in the northern city of Stroke-on-Trent, told reporters that Corbyn “should have gone many, many, many months ago,” after polls showed her losing her race, Reuters reported.

But others blamed the Brexit debate for the Conservative win. Richard Burgon, a Labour member of Parliament, said, “We had a very similar manifesto to the manifesto at the 2017 election, where with that manifesto and Jeremy’s leadership we gained 3 million votes,” The Washington Post reported.

“The thing which appears to be different this time is it was an election in which Brexit overshadowed traditional party loyalties,” he continued.

Conservatives swept elections in northern England, the Midlands and Wales in areas that backed the original 2016 Brexit referendum. Some areas considered Labour strongholds will have a Conservative member of Parliament for the first time in decades. 

"I am devastated, I don’t know how you could have any other reaction other than being utterly heartbroken," Labour's Jess Phillips said, Reuters reported. "This is not a time for easy answers, as much as I wish it was."