Labour MP Expects Abuse For Suggesting New Leader Could Help Party

23 February 2019, 15:16 | Updated: 23 February 2019, 15:45

A Labour MP who says a change of leadership would put an end to problems within the party admits he expects to receive abuse for his suggestion.

Neil Coyle told Ayesha Hazarika that wanting to be the party in government "got harder this week" after several MPs quit the party, and suggested that a change of leadership would help.

Eight Labour MPs resigned the Labour Party to form The Independent Group with three former-Conservative MPs, whilst an ninth Labour MP quit to be independent.

Mr Coyle said: "There are many still in the party who want to see action on tackling abuse, anti-Semitism, delivering our anti-Brexit policy in full, and if anyone in the party doesn't want to do that but wants us to be in government, then clearly there's a massive problem and that can only be solved one way."

"If that is about Jeremy stepping aside so that somebody else can come in to continue the manifesto I was prepared to stand on and fought for in 2017 - we need those extra policing, we need the housing investment, we need the changes to education - these are good policies but if we want to deliver them, we have to have a party in a fit state to do so and currently there are very few people who think we're in that state."

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Getty

Asked whether he thought that the party was unelectable with its current leader, Mr Coyle said: "I want with every part of my being to be part of a Labour government and that has got harder this week."

"And if inaction is the action, we can't have a labour government and we won't have the power to change peoples lives in the positive way we want to.

"If Jeremy really believes in his agenda but is unprepared to act in the face of the situation we are in, he should step aside and we should have a new leader with the same policies - and this will prove whether it's about the person or the party - then that could be a way forward.

"And I don't like being in this position not least because just by saying this, I will get another wave of abuse."