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UK votes to leave EU and PM Cameron quits

Traditionally the Conservative party “is a formidable election winning machine marrying a sharp sense of the electoral pulse to a ruthless intolerance of leadership failure”, BBC Political Correspondent Ben Wright says.

“Now, it is broken and dazed” and facing a bitter leadership contest full of “bad blood”.

Former London mayor Boris Johnson is the favourite but does not yet have a big support network among MPs, Ben says. Justice Secretary and fellow Leave heavyweight Michael Gove could join forces with him, or run alone.

Chancellor George Osborne, despite having spent years cultivating support on Tory backbenches while nursing an ambition for the top job, is now the target of deep anger in the party.

The names of backbenchers like former defence secretary Liam Fox have also been floated, with Mr Fox saying he won’t rule anything out.

But, Ben adds, the oft-mentioned Theresa May, who was “quietly supportive of the Remain campaign but not contaminated by its failure”, could be a strong contender.

Jeremy Corbyn

Getty Im

“It may be brutal, it may be bloody but he has to go. We have no choice.”

That’s the view of a former Labour minister who’s plotting to oust Jeremy Corbyn.

But there was no immediate support from the current frontbench. Labour’s shadow cabinet met for nearly three hours this morning and there was sustained criticism of the way  Jeremy Corbyn had conducted the referendum campaign and what was seen as his failure to address concerns about immigration, but there were no explicit calls for him to go.

The Labour leader has defended himself by arguing that he campaigned across the country on the party position: supporting remaining in the EU “whilst recognising the many deficiencies”. He said he “made the points” about working conditions, jobs and environmental protection.

While the shadow cabinet meeting was in session the veteran Labour MPs  Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey called for a motion of no confidence to be discussed at Monday’s parliamentary meeting. I understand it’s likely that there would then be a secret ballot of MPs on Tuesday but some Labour politicians such as the former cabinet minster Ben Bradshaw are already publicly calling for their party leader to go

One Westminster wag compared the anti-Corbyn MPs to Rasputin’s assassins. That’s because it’s not clear they will be able to remove him quickly or painlessly.The hope of the plotters is that he simply resigns by next Wednesday following the expected no confidence vote.

But if he refuses, a so-called stalking horse candidate is likely to stand against him, which, in turn, would smoke out serious challengers. Meanwhile, some of the leaders of Britain’s biggest unions urged Labour MPs not to embark on the “indulgence” of a “manufactured leadership row”.

-BBC

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Posted by on Jun 24 2016. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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