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Angela Eagle Demands Meeting With Jeremy Corbyn To Tell Him To Quit, Labour Insider Tells HuffPost UK

The demand comes after a day of Shadow Cabinet walkouts

26/06/2016 22:11
Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Angela Eagle and other key members of the Shadow Cabinet are demanding a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn to urge him to step down as Labour leader.

The HuffPost UK has learned Eagle, Lisa Nandy and John Healey want to meet with Corbyn tomorrow to ask him to quit.

The meeting is being called for after mass walkouts from the Shadow Cabinet – triggered by the sacking of Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn.

A Labour insider told HuffPost UK: “The soft left – Angela Eagle, Lisa Nandy, John Healey etc – want a meeting with Jeremy where they will say they are not going to support his continued leadership.”

The meeting comes after a series of Labour frontbenchers quit today, starting with Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander at 8.30am and ending with Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bryant at 9.30pm.

Despite rumours Eagle was planning to walk out alongside her colleagues, she has remained in post.

While those around her walked out, a source close to Eagle said she was “heartbroken about the position in which the party finds itself.”

Eagle has been floated as possible successor to Corbyn, with Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock saying in April she “has the capability to do the job.”

Corbyn has remained defiant despite the walkouts, and is planning to reveal a replacement Shadow Cabinet as soon as possible.

In a statement release this evening, Corbyn said he would stand in any leadership contest - and HuffPost UK revealed tonight he would automatically be on the ballot paper.

He said: “One clear message from last Thursday’s vote is that millions of people feel shut out of a political and economic system that has let them down and scarred our country with grotesque levels of inequality.

“I was elected by hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members and supporters with an overwhelming mandate for a different kind of politics.

“I regret there have been resignations today from my shadow cabinet. But I am not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me – or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them.

“Those who want to change Labour’s leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate.

“Over the next 24 hours I will reshape my shadow cabinet and announce a new leadership team to take forward Labour’s campaign for a fairer Britain - and to get the best deal with Europe for our people.”

TIMELINE OF LABOUR’S CIVIL WAR

Sunday:

1am: Jeremy Corbyn sacks Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn from his Shadow Cabinet. The sacking comes just hours after the Observer front page claims Benn was organising a coup against the Labour leader.

8.30am: Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander quits, telling Corbyn he does not have the “capacity to shape the answers the country is demanding”.

10am: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tells Corbyn’s critics to “calm down” and rules out ever standing for leader.

11.15am: Shadow Minister for Young People Gloria De Piero resigns. She tells Corbyn: “I do not believe you can deliver that victory at a general election, which may take place in a matter of months.”

11.30am: Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray quits. He later tells Sky News Labour are “barely ready for opposition, let alone an election.”

12.45pm: Shadow Transport Secretary Lillian Greenwood resigns. She says Corbyn is not capable of presenting a “credible alternative Government”.

12.56pm: Shadow Education Secretary Lucy Powell announces has resigned on Twitter. In her resignation letter she tells Corbyn he does not understand the concerns of “our traditional communities…sufficiently to re-engage” with them.

1.10pm: Shadow Environment Secretary Kerry McCarthy quits. McCarthy was seen as a Corbyn ally within the Shadow Cabinet, but told him today a “new leader is needed to take on the challenges ahead.”

1.45pm: Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Seema Malhotra resigns. She was John McDonnell’s deputy in the Shadow Treasury team and earlier today he was forced to deny Malhotra had been phoning MPs canvassing support on his behalf. In her resignation letter she tells Corbyn that with him as leader, Labour will not be able to “build bridges” across the party or reach out into the country.

5pm:  Vernon Coaker quits.

6pm: Shadow justice secretary Lord Faloner quits.

7pm: Shadow attorney general Karl Turner resigns "with a very heavy heart".

9.20pm: Chris Bryant resigns as shadow Commons leader, saying: "We need someone new to unite and lead Labour."

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