Jeremy Corbyn Predicts Labour Will Not Lose Any Council Seats Amid Leadership Plot Rumours

'I'm going nowhere'

Jeremy Corbyn has predicted Labour will not suffer any losses in this week's local council elections, and dismissed reports of a leadership challenge as the invention of the media.

It has been predicted that Labour could lose around 150 local council seats on Thursday.

But speaking at the launch of a campaign poster in London, Corbyn said: "We're not going to lose seats, we're going to gain seats where we can".

And he said reports Labour MPs were plotting against him were rumours generated by the "golden circle of the media establishment".

Asked if he would stand in any future leadership contest should he be challeged he said he was "going nowhere". He added: "I’m here. I’m going on. Of course I will."

Corbyn added the media was "obsessed" with his leadership of the party and should instead focus on the "grotesque levels on inequality" in the country.

According to The Sun, veteran Labour MP Margaret Hodge is being lined up as a stalking horse leadership challenger to take on Corbyn after the EU referendum in June.

It is reported this would allow other rivals to Corbyn to declare their interest in the leadership once Hodge had triggered a contest.

Speaking on the BBC's Daily Politics programme, shadow housing minister John Healey did not deny the reports.

"In 19 years in Opposition and in government, I have lost count of the number of stalking horses and future leaders I have come across," he said.

Asked if Corbyn would have no choice but to resign if Labour performed badly on Thursday, Healey added: "Of course he does. He was elected with a very strong mandate within the Labour Party."

"These elections on Thursday are going to be tough. the number of council seats always ebb and flow with the political cycle," he said.

Despite Corbyn insisting Labour would not lose any seats, Healey said election predictions were "a mugs game".

In an article for The Sunday Times, election experts Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher predicted Labour could lose 150 seats on Thursday.

"It would mean Labour is stuck far below any level necessary for it to mount a convincing challenge at the 2020 general election," they warned.

Speaking to ITV's The Agenda on Monday evening, Ukip leader Nigel Farage said Labour MPs would get a "horrible shock" if they tried to oust Corbyn.

"Those hundreds of thousands and people who joined the Labour Party last year at £3 a pop will still support Jeremy Corbyn," he said.

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