Jeremy Corbyn's Spokesman Says Claim Labour Won't Lose Any Council Seats Was 'Slightly Misinterpreted'

Says aide: "I'm telling you what he was intending to say."

04/05/2016 16:21
Matt Dunham/AP

Jeremy Corbyn's claim that Labour would not lose any council seats tomorrow was "slightly misinterpreted", his spokesman has said.

The Labour leader yesterday said: “We’re not going to lose seats, we’re going to gain seats where we can."

The comment raised eyebrows since it had been predicted that Labour could lose around 150 local councillors at elections across the country.

But today an aide moved to clarify Corbyn's comments, suggesting that his boss "mis-spoke".

An aide to Corbyn told journalists following Prime Minister's Questions: "I think that may have been slightly misinterpreted.

"What he said was that he would make no predictions about the number of seats to be won or lost in the local elections.

"We're not in the business of losing seats and we'll be fighting to win as many as possible tomorrow."

The remarks confused reporters who had heard the Labour leader's remarks a day earlier.

One journalist asked if Corbyn "mis-spoke", to which the spokesman replied: "I'm telling you what he was intending to say, yes."

Labour's performance at the ballot box is seen as crucial if Corbyn is to resist a coup from parts of the party unhappy with his leadership.

Some have floated the idea that a party in Opposition on its way to power should be gaining 400 seats - and cite historical precedents.

Supporters of the Labour leader claim this is part of a plot to de-stabilise him, led by the right of the party.

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