Hyndburn’s MP has launched a blistering attack on embattled leader Jeremy Corbyn - claiming “he doesn’t give a damn about the Labour Party”.
Mr Corbyn has vowed not to resign after a motion of no confidence in his leadership was passed by Labour MPs this afternoon by 172-40.
Mr Corbyn and his allies rejected the ballot in a statement which said that today’s vote had “no constitutional legitimacy”.
A staunch critic of Jeremy Corbyn since his election as leader in September last year, Hyndburn MP Graham Jones has joined calls for him to resign.
Mr Jones, who also attended the meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party last night, said: “I listened to Jeremy last night - it was truly telling, he doesn’t give a damn about the Labour Party at all.
“He was more interested in talking to the mob of people outside. MPs have a mandate from 9.5 million people. Jeremy has got a mandate of 250 thousand (party members). It’s about the many, not the few. He has got to stand down.
“He’s refused to take the opportunity to speak to people who don’t vote Labour, or go to parts of the country that need to be persuaded that Labour is the right party for government. He’s not even tried to speak to these people.”
Mr Jones added that he felt Mr Corbyn’s position as leader is now “untenable”.
He said: “He’s not fit to rule. The public see this is a man who doesn’t take responsibility seriously and that he can’t take the party forward other than in a divisive way.”
Mr Corbyn had faced calls to resign at a meeting in the House of Commons on Monday after more than 20 members of his shadow cabinet and a similar number of junior ministers walked out following the sacking of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.
Across the party, Labour MPs have questioned Mr Corbyn’s performance during the EU referendum on the Remain campaign and expressed doubts about his ability to lead the party to a future general election victory.
Mr Jones - who campaigned on the ground in Hyndburn to stay in the EU - also criticised his leader’s efforts to keep Britain the EU.
He said: “For every one performance that Jeremy was doing, other leading Remain campers were doing five or ten.
“Jeremy wasn’t particularly interested in remaining. He was more interested in shoring up his own support than winning the campaign for Remain.
“He’s demonstrated over the last few days he’s not suited to the job.
“He needs to recognise that the Labour Party is there to win general elections not to wave placards. We’ve got to address the country as a party they can elect. I’m not Blairite, I understand his supporters’ concerns, but at the end of the day we can’t achieve anything if we are not in a position to win an election. If we don’t speak to the people, we won’t be able to govern and everybody comes out of this poorer. It’s a challenge that Jeremy refuses to face.”
However, Mr Corbyn’s allies John McDonnell and Diane Abbott have rallied round their leader, with new shadow health secretary Abbott telling the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: “This isn’t about Westminster MPs, it is about the party and the country.”
Mr Corbyn has also been backed by the Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions.
Thousands of die-hard Corbyn supporters from the campaign group Momentum attended a rally outside Parliament during the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting on Monday.
Mr Corbyn has made it clear he will not stand down while he holds a mandate from Labour members.