How Corbyn can win back confidence in his leadership

PUBLISHED: 10:08 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 23 August 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

As a Labour voter who still (just about!) believes in Jeremy Corbyn, these are difficult times, writes John Johnston.

The best way for him to put an end to the last few weeks of misery and to shift the argument is to accept two things: the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in full, and the desire of party members to have a meaningful vote at conference on the People’s Vote.

The arguments for the first are powerful and well-rehearsed and do not need another airing here. The argument for the second begins and ends with what Jeremy said in his first conference speech as leader, three years ago: “One firm commitment I make to people who join our Labour Party is that you have a real say, the final say in deciding on the policies of our party. No-one – not me as leader, not the shadow cabinet, not the Parliamentary Labour Party – is going to impose policy or have a veto.”

Last weekend’s poll showing more than 100 constituencies have now switched from Leave to Remain shows that the mood of the country has shifted and the push for caution to avoid frightening off Leave voters is no longer necessary.

The mood of the party has changed too. It must not accept a lock-out of Brexit debate like last year or a fudge like Unite’s “open to the possibility depending on political circumstances”.

It has been said that the referendum campaign joins the now-notorious wreath-laying as times when Jeremy was “present but I don’t think I actually was involved in it”.

With that in mind, the only thing he should now be laying down now is a conference motion to support the People’s Vote.

John Johnston

• This was submitted as a letter to The New European. To have your letter featured in our newspaper email letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

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