Corbyn reaction: Labour party unites in support of new leader after remarkable win

Jeremy Corbyn, centre, accepts congratulations after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader as fellow candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall look on.

Jeremy Corbyn, centre, accepts congratulations after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader as fellow candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall look on.

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Political figures have united in support of new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after he was swept to power in a landslide victory.

Veteran left-winger Mr Corbyn secured almost 60 per cent of the votes cast by party members.

In a result which marks a fundamental change of direction for the party, the Islington North MP defeated rivals Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall in the first round of counting, taking 251,417 (59.5%) of the 422,664 votes cast.

The stunning win completed a remarkable turnaround for the long-serving backbencher, who was a rank outsider when he finally mustered enough support to get his name on the ballot paper for the contest at the 11th hour.

North East MPs have been quick to back the new party leader.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn hailed Mr Corbyn’s success a ‘great day for socialism’ - and says the party can return to Government at the next election.

Mr Hepburn said: ““I am very optimistic about the future.

“I think we will see a Labour party giving people hope and aspiration.

“There is no reason why we can’t start winning seats in the South of the country.

“Jeremy is going to rattle a few cages.

“I have served on committees with Jeremy, and i agree with his views on all sorts of things.

“He is very responsible.

“This is a great day for socialism .

“I have no doubts at all that we can win the next election.”

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck added: “We need to come together and back Jeremy - and make sure we win the General Election in 2020.

I backed Andy Burnham and am disappointed for him. I think he would’ve been able to win for us in 2020.

“But Jeremy has a huge mandate to lead with the votes he has received.

“He was very gracious in his victory speech.

“Everyone must remember that we all (Labour MPs) have the same membership card.

“We would be playing into the Tory’s hands if there is infighting and we are divided.

“We have to unite now behind Jeremy.”

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright is also urging the party to turn their focus on the opposition - rather than tackle conflict from within.

He said: “Congratulations to both Jeremy Corbyn and my old friend Tom Watson on being elected leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party.

“I hope we can turn to fighting the Tories.”

Houghton and Sunderland MP Bridget Phillipson added: “Congratulations to Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird added: “Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on landslide victory from all voting categories to Labour Leader.”