Corbyn Has Lost Chance to Unite Labour: Eagle

Angela Eagle announces a bid for the leadership of the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn still refuses to step down.

Labour Party leaders Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn attend a party conference in Brighton, England, September 28, 2015
Labour Party leaders Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn attend a party conference in Brighton, England, September 28, 2015 (AFP/Leon Neal)

Angela Eagle said on Sunday she would challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of Britain’s Labour Party.

“We need a strengthened Labour Party and an opposition that can unite, so we can heal the country and unfortunately I just don’t think Jeremy can do that job,” Eagle told the BBC.

She’s right.

Even if Corbyn’s supporters like to point out that Labour won local elections since he was named leader last year, it has performed worse than opposition parties historically do while polls predict an historic defeat at the next general election.

Unity

As for uniting the party, Corbyn has clearly lost his chance.

In a separate BBC interview, Corbyn reminded viewers — several times — that he won the leadership with 60 percent support from members.

Which is true, but he has since lost the support of 80 percent of his lawmakers.

Any other person would have done the right thing and resigned. Not Corbyn. That’s because to him, his far-left causes, which stand virtually no chance of being realized, are more important than is the future of the Labour Party.

“Lasting division”

Trade union leader Len McCluskey has warned there could be “a lasting division” if Corbyn is removed from power.

Other allies have made similar statements and some of Corbyn’s opponents in the Labour Party are now wondering if a split may not be for the best if the alternative is cruising helplessly to Labour’s third election defeat in a row.