Wednesday 7 December 2016

Corbyn boost as Labour gains 100,000 members

Adam Lusher

Published 07/07/2016 | 02:30

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been facing a coup attempt from a group of his party's MPs Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been facing a coup attempt from a group of his party's MPs Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Labour Party has gained 100,000 new members since the EU referendum, suggesting attempts by grassroots supporters to keep Jeremy Corbyn as leader against the wishes of the vast majority of his MPs.

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It is suspected that many of the 100,000 new members have joined Labour since June 23 with the express intention of defying Labour MPs and voting for Mr Corbyn in any leadership election.

The surge in membership comes amid what some are calling an attempted coup against Mr Corbyn by the party's MPs. There have been mass resignations from Mr Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet, with exiting members calling on him to resign. The veteran left-winger, however, has refused to step down and may be able to cling to power against the wishes of his MPs thanks to the votes of the rank-and-file membership.

If this happened, his success and the 100,000 membership surge would mirror the events of September's leadership election, during which more than 100,000 people paid £3 to register as affiliate Labour supporters so they could vote.

Mr Corbyn won a landslide victory with 59.5pc of the membership vote. This was despite struggling to get the 35 nominations needed to stand in the first place and only succeeded because some Labour MPs "lent" him their support to "broaden the debate".

One MP who did this, ex-Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, later admitted she had been "a moron".

Irish Independent

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