Jeremy Corbyn is facing a Labour backlash over his party’s “unmitigated disaster” at the polls, which prompted Theresa May to taunt his failure to make an electoral breakthrough. As the dust settled Labor’s Chukka Umunna called for his party’s ruling National Executive to set up a “proper post-mortem,” warning the results could not give it confidence it would win the next General Election.
You would expect after eight years of Tory government and in the wake of the resignations of several senior ministers... Labour to be making far greater gains,” said the London MP.
He added: We haven't gone forward and if we are looking to form an election-winning majority, we cannot be confident of that happening based on the results yesterday.
His Labour colleague Ian Murray, a long-standing critic of Mr. Corbyn, also highlighted the political context of the English council results.
“Given we have the worst Conservative Prime Minister in history, the most divided Conservative government in history, days before the local elections the Home Secretary resigns, Brexit is going wrong and the economy is dragging along the bottom, yet the Tories get a small swing outside London; it’s quite extraordinary.
“We should be 20 points ahead; someone has to look into what went wrong. For a party that wants to aspire to be in government, this was an unmitigated disaster,” declared the Edinburgh MP.
In the London borough of Barnet, which was another key Labour target, the internal row over anti-Semitism was blamed for the party failing to take control of the authority, which has a large Jewish community.
While Labour took charge in Plymouth it fell short of gaining control in areas like Swindon, Dudley and Walsall, where it had hoped to establish middle England strongholds.
Mr Corbyn, nonetheless, insisted Labour had consolidated its gains at last year’s General Election and had put in a “solid” performance.
The Labour leader played down the significance of the failure to gain councils in London, claiming the Tories had deliberately talked up Labor's chances to unrealistic” levels.