General Election 2019: Jeremy Corbyn indicates when he will quit as Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he will quit as Labour leader in the early part of next year after the party suffered its worst General Election defeat since 1935.
It came as the 70-year-old came under pressure to stand down immediately.
Speaking about the timetable for him to leave, Mr Corbyn said: ‘The National Executive will have to meet, of course, in the very near future and it is up to them. It will be in the early part of next year.’
He added: ‘I have pride in our manifesto that we put forward, and all the policies we put forward, which actually had huge public support.
‘But this election was taken over ultimately by Brexit and we as a party represent people who voted both Remain and Leave.
‘My whole strategy was to reach out beyond the Brexit divide to try and bring people together, because ultimately the country has to come together.’
Responding to a disastrous night for Labour, which saw a string of its strongholds fall to the Tories, Mr Corbyn said he would not be leading the party into another general election.
But speaking after retaining his Islington North seat, he said he intended to take Labour through a ‘process of reflection’ while it considered the way forward.
‘I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward,’ he said.
‘And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.’
He was rounded on, however, by angry Labour MPs, peers, and defeated candidates, who said his leadership was to blame for their catastrophic showing and called on him to go.
Labour former home secretary Lord Blunkett told the BBC: ‘I think Jeremy should go now.
‘There should be an interim leader agreed between the National Executive and the parliamentary party - perhaps somebody like Hilary Benn.
‘It would really help if the clique that runs the Labour Party at the moment just said sorry.
‘I haven't heard one of them apologise to all those who lost their seats last night.’
Allies of the Labour leader insisted the defeat was down to the inability to overcome differences over Brexit rather than a rejection of Mr Corbyn's radical left-wing policy programme.
The party was left with just 203 seats - down from the 262 it won in the 2017 general election and the 243 it held when Parliament was dissolved in November.