Sunderland MPs congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on being elected Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn visits Sunderland.
Jeremy Corbyn visits Sunderland.
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Wearside MPs have congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on being elected as Labour leader and urged him to unify the party as part of a bid to get back into power.

Mr Corbyn was announced as leader at the weekend after polling more votes than challenger Owen Smith.

Bridget Phillipson

Bridget Phillipson

Mr Corbyn secured 61.8% of the vote to Smith’s 38.2%.

The victory strengthens his hold on a party that has expanded dramatically since the 2015 general election and now has more than 500,000 members.

In last year’s contest, he won 59.5% of the vote.

Many MPs have refused to publicly back Mr Corbyn since he was first elected leader in September 2015.

“He now has the challenge before him of winning the public’s confidence and working with colleagues across the party to deliver a Labour government at the next General Election.”

Bridget Phillipson MP

Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson said: “I congratulate Jeremy on his victory, and also want to thank Owen Smith for running an excellent and hard-fought campaign.

“I recognise that many people have put their trust in Jeremy.

“He now has the challenge before him of winning the public’s confidence and working with colleagues across the party to deliver a Labour government at the next General Election.

“I will continue do all I can to protect the people I represent from the damaging policies of Theresa May’s Conservative government.”

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central.

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central.

MP Julie Elliott, who represents Sunderland Central, said: “I congratulate Jeremy on winning the contest to be Leader of the Labour Party.

“We now need to look outwards to our communities as we face challenging times in the weeks and months ahead.”

And Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: “Well done to Jeremy on his re-election as Leader of the Labour Party.

“It is now time for the Party to come together after a passionate summer of debating Labour’s future, to hold the Tory Government to account whilst looking to the country as a whole to hear their concerns and support their aspirations for the future.”

Defiant Labour moderates vowed to stay and fight following Mr Corbyn’s victory amid warnings that the party’s future existence is at risk.

A series of senior MPs, including former shadow cabinet ministers Hilary Benn, Angela Eagle and Yvette Cooper took part in a rally hosted by the Labour First movement.

The packed rally heard repeated calls for people to remain in the party rather than quit in protest at Mr Corbyn’s re-election.

Former shadow cabinet minister Vernon Coaker set out the stark choice facing Labour, warning it could “die” unless it changed.