Wales politics

Corbyn's Labour set for heavy losses, says Stephen Kinnock

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Media captionBrexit 'changes everything' for Corbyn, says Stephen Kinnock

Labour will suffer heavy losses if Jeremy Corbyn leads it into a general election this year, one of the party's Welsh MPs has said.

Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock said Mr Corbyn's mandate belonged to a "different era".

Meanwhile Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said Labour "urgently" needed a new leader.

It came as Mr Corbyn faced a frontbench revolt, accused of a "lacklustre" contribution to the EU referendum Remain campaign.

Labour sources told the Press Association news agency that Chris Bryant, the Rhondda MP, was poised to stand down as shadow Commons leader amid a string of resignations.

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Image caption Jeremy Corbyn has been blamed by some of his MPs for the victory of the Leave campaign in the EU referendum

Mr Kinnock, asked on BBC Sunday Politics Wales if he feared that many MPs could lose their seats under Mr Corbyn's leadership, said: "That is absolutely central to our concerns.

"I do not see him as a negotiator with the skills and experience that we need to take us forward at this unprecedented time.

"I accept that the membership gave Jeremy a huge mandate, but that was then and this is now. Everything has changed."

Mr Kinnock added: "We have to ensure that we go into that general election with a leader who is right in the context of a post-Brexit referendum United Kingdom."

But Darren Williams, secretary of the left-leaning Welsh Labour Grassroots movement, told BBC Radio Wales it was "disappointing that Labour isn't uniting around Jeremy Corbyn".

'Not capable'

Mr Lucas said he wrote to Mr Corbyn urging him to stand down after the local constituency party passed a motion of no confidence in the leader.

He told BBC Radio Wales he was disappointed by the sacking of Hilary Benn as shadow foreign secretary.

"It's symptomatic of the fact unfortunately the present leader is not capable of leading the Labour Party effectively at this time of national crisis," he added.

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Image caption Peter Hain was Northern Ireland secretary of state from May 2005 until June 2007

Former Welsh Secretary Lord Hain said: "It's been very evident for a while that the majority of Labour-inclined voters do not think Jeremy is capable of winning the next election for us.

"That is the reality which cannot be ignored. That's the issue that needs to be confronted by party members who voted for him."

But in a blog post, Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn accused shadow cabinet members of "playing party games" while jobs were in peril.

He wrote: "It's a disgrace that political parties are playing self-indulgent games with orchestrated resignations on the hour as part of an organised treachery."

Mike Hedges, Labour AM for Swansea East who supported Corbyn's leadership bid, told BBC Wales: "Less than 12 months ago Jeremy Corbyn won the biggest mandate of any Labour leader.

"This referendum had members of the Labour party on different sides.

"I do not understand why some MPs are blaming Jeremy Corbyn for the referendum result. We should be uniting as a party behind the leader to hold the Tory party to account."

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