UPDATE: Ed Miliband calls for Jeremy Corbyn's resignation, says Doncaster and the country need an 'effective Labour Party'

Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn pictured during a 'Remain' rally in Doncaster town centre. Picture: Stephanie Bateman.
Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn pictured during a 'Remain' rally in Doncaster town centre. Picture: Stephanie Bateman.
6
Have your say

In an open letter to his Doncaster constituents, Ed Milband has called for his successor Jeremy Corbyn to resign as Labour leader - following yesterday's vote of no confidence.

MPs passed a motion of no confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday, with 172 out of 212 of the party's elected representatives calling for the Islington North MP to step down. This followed resignations from the shadow cabinet and calls on Mr Corbyn to quit.

Ed Miliband became the latest political figure to call for his resignation earlier this afternoon, and has now issued an open letter to his constituents explaining why he thinks Mr Corbyn should step down.

In the letter he says his 'constituents and the country urgently need an effective, united Labour party to try and chart a progressive way forward for Britain'.

He said: "I have been loyal to Jeremy throughout his tenure as Leader. I resisted calls to speak out against him when he was running for the job and since he was elected.

"I have backed him 100 per cent.

"But my constituents and the country urgently need an effective, united Labour party to try and chart a progressive way forward for Britain after our exit from the European Union. We face grave economic risks and huge uncertainty. The situation has become untenable because the overwhelming majority of members of the Parliamentary party have lost confidence in him.

"This is not ideological - the opposition to him is from all wings of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).

"It is certainly not about a ‘Blairite’ wing of the party. I believe Jeremy’s views on austerity and inequality are important for the future of the party.

"Nor is it unconstitutional - our constitution specifically provides for a Leader needing the support of the parliamentary party and the party in the country.

"The constitution says that if a Leader loses the support of 20% of the Parliamentary party and they nominate another candidate, there should be a fresh ballot.

"Jeremy has lost the support of more than 75 per cent of the PLP.

"I understand my position will upset some party members.

"Some who support Jeremy and some who fear this is a distraction from the crisis the country faces. To supporters of Jeremy, my candid view is that a progressive, Left agenda is more likely to be taken forward in a united Labour Party, not a wrecked, divided party.

"And to those who worry about distraction, we cannot function as an effective opposition in the current circumstances.

"Jeremy has had a profound and lasting influence on the debate about who we are as a party and the causes we need to fight for. I know he is someone who cares deeply about those causes, our party and our country.

"I hope he will reflect on how he can best serve this agenda at this critical moment for Britain and the Labour Party.

Labour's leadership crisis follows last week's referendum on the European Union, when 52 per cent of voters opted to leave.

Mr Corbyn fronted the their Remain campaign, and the calls for his resignation come after sizeable 'out' votes in Labour strongholds such as South Yorkshire and Sunderland.