Southwark voted heavily to remain in the European Union and the ramifications of Brexit are already being felt through local job losses as well as for the many Labour members and supporters in my constituency who feel our leader did not work hard enough to try and secure a win.
Along with over 50 others, I have resigned from the shadow frontbench team. I am very grateful for the messages of support received since my own announcement. My own members appear to back a leadership change by 4:1 and a poll carried out by the ‘London SE1’ website showed that 65% of local people say they agree with the reasons outlined in my resignation letter.
Below are quotes from just a few Labour people who have been in touch to express concerns. This group is significant as they supported Jeremy in the leadership election last year, some actively campaigning for him just nine months ago:
“I would like you to support a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn… [he] has failed to reach out beyond a core group of voters…His campaigning on the EU referendum was, at best, uninspiring. His VICE documentary portrayed him as a weak, disorganised leader.”
“I joined the Labour Party when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as I expected a new and positive approach to politics. I actively campaigned for Sadiq Khan and door knocked last week to campaign to remain… I am sad to say that I feel that the lack of real, committed and positive leadership has been a significant factor in the leave vote.”
“I voted for Corbyn and have supported with enthusiasm his drive to inspire and reposition the Labour Party, especially on economic policy. No longer. His lamentable performance in the critical EU referendum…means that he has no understanding of the damage Brexit will do not only to our country but to peace and stability in Europe. For these reasons I now no longer have any confidence in his leadership.”
“Jeremy Corbyn is a good man with decent, principled political, social and moral ideals (most of which I share and champion wholeheartedly) and a strong sense of purpose but sadly it has become clear over time and particularly in the recent weeks of this referendum campaign that his strength is not in political leadership and I cannot in all good conscience support him.”
“This country requires vision and leadership at a time that it is sorely lacking in [Jeremy Corbyn]. I feel helpless.”
This shift from former Jeremy Corbyn supporters is in the space of just a few months and demonstrates some of the strength of feeling. I hope the leader steps down soon and the Party can move forward under a new, stronger and more unifying voice.