POLITICS

Election Results Show Jeremy Corbyn On Track To Win 2020 General Election, Says Diane Abbott

06/05/2016 11:23

Labour was pushed into third place in Scotland in Thursday's elections and has lost council seats in England.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, shadow international development secretary Diane Abbott said the results showed Labour was heading to victory at the general election.

"You can not read everything from individual council ward results, but if you look at our overall share of the vote since last year, you will see our share of the vote is going up and that's the most important indicator," she said.

Abbott, an ally of Jeremy Corybn, said it was good Labour had "held steady" in southern seats such as Crawley, Southampton and Hastings. "We are on track to win in 2020," she said.

Pressed by how holding on to seats and losing councillors could be seen as progress, Abbott said the results were "the beginning of something, it’s not the end of everything".

However several Labour MPs are far less impressed. In Nuneaton, the bellweather midlands seat, Labour suffered an 11% swing to the Conservatives.

Jo Cox said the "clock is ticking" on Corbyn's leadership. Neil Coyle said Labour was "moving further away from government". And Emma Reynolds said "standing still or going backwards" was not good enough.

Abbott said Corbyn had been the victim of "unprecedented complaints and attacks and criticism" from Labour MPs. "I think we have done well to have done as well as we have done over all," she said.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP said Labour MPs who had been attacking Corbyn had to "finally accept the result of last years leadership election and get behind the leader of the party".

Tom Watson has said it would be “unfair” for Labour MPs to blame Corbyn "alone" for the election results.

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