Jeremy Corbyn urges party to unite after being re-elected Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his victory following the announcement of the winner in the Labour leadersh

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his victory following the announcement of the winner in the Labour leadership contest between him and Owen Smith at the ACC Liverpool. Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Labour to 'wipe the slate clean' after he was re-elected as party leader following a bitter campaign which saw him defeat challenger Owen Smith.

Mr Corbyn saw off challenger Owen Smith with 61.8pc of more than half a million votes cast in the contest, increasing the mandate which he first won a year ago.

His tally of 313,209 votes was more than 60,000 higher than the 251,417 (59.5pc) he secured in 2015.

Mr Smith took 193,229 votes - 38.2pc of the 506,438 votes cast out of a total electorate of 654,006.

Referring to the 'passionate and often partisan' contest, Mr Corbyn acknowledged 'things are sometimes said in the heat of the debate on all sides which we sometimes later come to regret'.

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his victory following the announcement of the winner in the Labour leadersh

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his victory following the announcement of the winner in the Labour leadership contest between him and Owen Smith at the ACC Liverpool. Danny Lawson/PA Wire - Credit: PA


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But he added: 'I will do everything I can to repay the trust and support, to bring our party together, to make it an engine of progress for our country and the people that depend on the Labour Party to protect their interests, and win power to deliver real change in this country.'

Mr Corbyn continued: 'We have much more in common than that which divides us.

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'As far as I'm concerned, let's wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work we have got to do as a party together.'

He also called on Labour MPs to unite behind his leadership and help build support for 'a genuine alternative' to the Conservative Government.

Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn before the announcement of the winner in the Labour leadership contest

Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn before the announcement of the winner in the Labour leadership contest between the pair at the ACC Liverpool. Danny Lawson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

'I have no doubt this party can win the next general election whenever the Prime Minister calls it, and form that next government,' he said.

'To do that, we have all got to work together.'

Mr Corbyn said he had a responsibility as leader to unite the party at conference, in Parliament and across the country.

But he added: 'It is also the responsibility of the whole party - Members of Parliament, councillors, party members and our wonderful supporters across the country - to work together and respect the democratic choice that's been made.'

He urged all Labour supporters to join him in taking part in a national day of action next Saturday against Mrs May's plans to expand selection in education and open new grammar schools.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, who backed Mr Corbyn in both last year and this year's contest, said the Islington MP had won 'comprehensively' and they now needed to turn to the question of how they could become a 'constructive proper opposition'.

'There are lots of things we disagree on, but there is a lot more we agree on and that is what we have to do,' he said.

He said there needed to be a period of reflection and the rebuilding of trust on both sides of the party.

Mr Lewis said there were some people who had joined the shadow cabinet last year who did not have any intention of giving Jeremy Corbyn a chance, something he claimed had hurt the Labour leader.

He said that Mr Corbyn needed to be a leader the PLP had confidence in which meant moving together and coming together.

He said there would have to be a 'leap of faith' that those who came back onto the front bench would do so in all honesty.

'For Jeremy it means taking them in. If that means a pool of people are elected to the shadow cabinet, that is something I think he should consider,' he added.

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