Ipswich Labour leader calls for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down
PUBLISHED: 10:59 04 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:59 04 July 2016
The Labour leader of Ipswich Borough Council has called on Jeremy Corbyn to "do the decent thing" and stand down from his role at the head of the national party.
David Ellesmere, who stood for Labour at last year’s general election but lost out to Conservative Ben Gummer, said that with Mr Corbyn at the helm it was a “simple fact” that his party would not win a potential new election should it be called next year.
He said: “Jeremy Corbyn needs to decide whether he is only remembered as the leader who destroyed the Labour Party.
“He should do the decent thing and step down now.” Mr Corbyn has seen members of his shadow cabinet resign in protest at his leadership of the party, but retains strong backing from grassroots members.
However writing in his weekly column in the EADT’s sister paper the Ipswich Star, Mr Ellesmere said he had first-hand experience of even those who had previously backed Mr Corbyn saying they too felt it was now time for him to stand down.
He added: “Labour members in Ipswich who voted for Jeremy have told me they no longer support him. Even some of those who do still support him have reluctantly come to the conclusion that he should go because of the damage he is doing to the party.
“The lacklustre campaign Jeremy ran during the referendum and the revelations that his team may have actively tried to sabotage the Remain campaign may have been the final straw for some but the real trigger is the realisation that we could – and in my view should – have a general election within a year.
“This will be the most important general election in most of our lifetimes. It will decide the course Britain will follow for decades.
“And the simple fact is that if Jeremy Corbyn is Leader then the Labour Party will not win it.
“Anyone who has spent any time speaking to voters on the doorstep over the last year knows this in their heart of hearts.”
Over the weekend Mr Corbyn’s allies insisted trade unions can broker a peace deal to end the party’s meltdown as they claimed the leader is the victim of a “political lynching”.
Mr Corbyn has insisted he is “ready to reach out” to his enemies in the party but warned he would stand for re-election if they tried to oust him.