Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told MPs he is sorry for losing the General Election, but vowed to continue in his post until a new leader is elected.
He met with colleagues this evening, following the party’s worst general election result since 1935.
Some MPs have blamed Corbyn for the loss, saying his left-wing policies were damaging on the doorstep.
He is understood to have told the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) tonight: ‘I am very sorry for the result for which I take responsibility,
‘I will continue to lead the party until a new leader is elected. I want us to have the smoothest possible transition for the sake of the party as a whole and for those Labour mayors and councillors who are up for re-election in May.’
By contast, after losing the General Election in May 2015, Ed Miliband resigned the day later saying: ‘I take absolute and total responsibility for the result and our defeat at this election.’
Mr Corbyn is believed to have maintained his defence that Brexit was a major reason voters lost their trust in Labour and repeated his criticism of the media.
He is understood to have said: ‘The Tory campaign amplified by most of the media managed to persuade many that only Boris Johnson could “get Brexit done”. That will soon be exposed for the falsehood it is.
‘We need to go to places where we lost and genuinely listen to what people want and what they believe is possible.’
Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill (Wab) is almost certain to pass now he has an 80-strong majority due to the Tories’ resounding victory.
But Mr Corbyn is believed to have told his MPs to vote against the Bill because it imposes an ‘impossible timetable’ to get a ‘good’ trade deal with the EU by the end of the transition period.
Labour’s Rachel Reeves said she told the meeting Labour must radically change and get a leader ‘that actually wants to win’.
‘If we want to change the lives of the people we came into politics to serve then we’ve got to win power and that’s not been possible two times under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership,’ Ms Reeves told reporters when asked what she said in the PLP meeting.
‘We need radical change, we need a party and a leader the country can trust, we need economic policies that add up and we need somebody that actually wants to win because they know that it’s only through power that we can change the lives of people.’