On 23rd June 2016, the EU Referendum took place, where the UK decided to leave the EU with a final result of 51.9% leave to 48.1% remain with a turnout of 72.2% UK citizens. This resulted in there being a large shake up within the main political parties due to the significant split between members of the same party taking opposing sides. However, one party that is still undecided about the main leadership role is the Labour Party, where the members have been debating whether to keep Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
Since the referendum, members of the party have been discussing whether Corbyn did enough as leader to promote the remain party, especially as in an interview he told the British public that he was only a 7 out of 10 on how much he wanted to remain in the EU. Therefore, politicians believe that one of the main reasons as to why the country voted to leave was because Corbyn failed to lead the Labour Party and to successfully get the working class supporters of the party to vote remain.
Angela Eagle was the first to challenge Corbyn’s leadership, which she did a week after many of the shadow cabinet resigned once finding out the results of the referendum. Eagle has been a member of the Labour Party since she was 17 years old and has been an MP for nearly 25 years. Unlike many Labour Party MPs, when Corbyn became leader, Eagle backed him and called for unity within the party, however, once the referendum had taken place, Eagle was upset to conclude that was not the right person to lead the party.
After being the first to challenge Corbyn, Eagle pulled out of the leadership race ‘in the interests of the party’ so that she could back Corbyn. This was because she realised that her movement would have a much larger chance of being successful if there was only one challenger, and so she dropped out because polls showed that Owen Smith had more of a chance of beating Jeremy Corbyn than she did. MD