Angela Eagle, the Former Shadow Business Secretary, has slammed the “howl of pain” Brexit vote as she launched a leadership bid against Jeremy Corbyn.
“Today I am announcing my decision to stand for the leadership of the Labour Party,” Mrs. Eagle, who described herself as a “practical socialist”, told a press conference in London.
“Jeremy Corbyn is unable to provide the leadership that this party needs – I believe I can. I am not a Blairite, I am not a Brownite and I am not a Corbynista, I am my own woman,” she added.
Mrs. Eagle also said the Brexit result had left the country “divided and uncertain” with a “broken economy”, describing the vote to leave the European Union (EU) as “a howl of pain”.
The 55-year-old, who has been the MP for Wallasey since 1992, went on: “I would not do this if I did not think I could be a good prime minister for Britain. These are dark times for Labour. And they are dangerous times for our country.”
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 11, 2016
Mr. Corbyn won the leadership with a huge mandate from party members just ten months ago.
However, his hard left policies and lacklustre campaign to stay in the EU has left him with so few supportive MPs in Parliament he cannot even form a shadow cabinet.
He has faced mass resignations and lost a vote of no-confidence since the referendum, and it is unlikely that he will be able to secure the backing of the 51 MPs needed to get on the ballot paper in a new leadership contest.
Party membership has surged once again, to around 500,000, since the referendum. New members are thought be largely supportive of Mr. Corbyn, and if he can make it on to the ballot it is likely he will be reelected.
Mr. Corbyn and his supporters have argued that, as the incumbent, he should automatically be put on the ballot. However, his opponents deny this.
In an interview on Sunday on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr. Corbyn was resolute that he would fight to be elected again, even hinting at a legal challenge if he is kept off of the ballot paper.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Eagle faces the prospect of a no-confidence vote from her own constituency Labour party, the Independent revealed just hours before she formally launched her leadership bid.