24/02/2017 12:04 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn Asked If He Has 'Looked In The Mirror' And Accepted Blame For Copeland Defeat

‘Could the problem actually be me?’

Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed any suggestion that he is to blame for Labour’s historic by-election loss in Copeland.

The Labour leader was asked this morning by Chris Ship from ITV News whether he had “looked the mirror and asked yourself this question, ‘could the problem actually be me?’.”

Corbyn replied simply: “No. Thank you for your question.”

Copeland has been held by Labour since it was formed in 1983 but Conservative Trudy Harrison snatched it by 2,147 votes in a historic victory. 

It is the first time a governing party has taken a seat from the opposition for decade. Harrison polled 13,748 votes to 11,601 for Labour’s Gillian Troughton.

Asked by the BBC earlier in the day whether he would fall on his sword following the defeat, Corbyn said: “No - I was elected to lead this party, I’m proud to lead this party.

“Copeland is obviously very disappointing. I hoped we’d have won the election there and we didn’t.”