Scotland politics

Dugdale: 'Difficult' for Corbyn to continue as Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn is facing calls to resign after more than 20 members of his shadow cabinet walked out

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has said it is "difficult" for Jeremy Corbyn to continue as party leader after a vote of no confidence.

Labour MPs voted against Mr Corbyn by 172 to 40 in the motion, after a series of shadow cabinet resignations.

Ms Dugdale said that "if I lost the confidence of 80% of my parliamentary colleagues, I could not do my job".

Mr Corbyn said he would not "betray" the members who voted for him by resigning as leader.

More than 20 members of Mr Corbyn's shadow cabinet and a similar number of junior ministers have quit, including sole Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray.

Lourd Foulkes, chairman of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party, said no Scottish politicians would fill the shadow Scottish secretary position vacated by Mr Murray while Mr Corbyn is leader.

The former Scottish Office minister said Mr Corbyn would struggle to find "decent people" to fill shadow cabinet posts.

Image caption Kezia Dugdale said she had an "excellent" relationship with Mr Corbyn

Ms Dugdale said that she had an "excellent" relationship with Mr Corbyn, and said she had spoken with him on the phone on Monday evening.

However, she noted that she had been elected to her position with a similar mandate, and underlined that she could not do her job if she "lost the confidence of 80% of my parliamentary colleagues".

The Scottish Labour leader said it was "difficult" for Mr Corbyn to now continue in his job.

The no-confidence vote held by Labour on Tuesday is not binding.

Lord Foulkes, who chairs the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party at Westminster, claimed that far-left and new members would soon constitute the front bench under Mr Corbyn's leadership.

He also suggested that Labour could lose its last seat north of the border if Mr Corbyn remained in his post.

Mr Corbyn faced calls to resign at a meeting in the House of Commons on Monday after more than 20 members of his shadow cabinet and a similar number of junior ministers walked out, questioning his performance during the EU referendum and ability to lead the party.

Labour's only MP in Scotland, Mr Murray, resigned from his position as shadow Scottish Secretary on Sunday.

He confirmed during a live interview on the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme that he had written to his leader informing him he was stepping down.

Mr Murray said matters had been brought to a head by the result of the EU referendum.


ANALYSIS - By David Porter, political correspondent, Westminster

I'm sitting here on College Green looking at the Houses of Parliament and at times you think we are in a Westminster soap opera.

Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn went into a meeting of his MPs after more than 40 said he could no longer work with him.

He got a right royal kicking.

Then he went out to be cheered on by more than 5,000 supporters holding a rally in Parliament Square.

It was like he was in political intensive care, and received a political blood transfusion.

Today's vote doesn't force anything, but Labour MPs will have to make a decision about whether to stand against him."

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