Jeremy Corbyn has been urged by one of Labour’s most senior MPs to consider his position after a dismal showing for the party in the “super Thursday” elections.
Veteran Jewish backbencher David Winnick said the leader should consider stepping down in the interests of the party.
“It is quite clear from last night’s results that the chances of electoral success in 2020 are, to say the least, remote,” he told the Press Association.
“Although there is speculation about a possible coup in the Parliamentary Labour Party, I don’t think that is the best option.
“The party faces a crisis and the onus is on Jeremy himself. He should decide whether his leadership is helping or hindering the party.
“I think all the evidence shows that it is not helping.”
His comments came after another Labour MP, John Mann, said: “It is clear that the Jewish vote, which for generations in families has been Labour, has gone against Labour. We have seen that in Bury, we have seen it in Glasgow, I think we will see it tomorrow in parts of London.
“This is a huge challenge – it’s going to define Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. He has to lead from the front and get on top of this problem.”
Meanwhile, shadow cabinet minister Andy Burnham confirmed he is considering a run for the mayoralty of Greater Manchester, in a move that is likely to be interpreted as a mark of pessimism about Labour’s prospects of seizing power in Westminster at the next election.
Mr Burnham told Sky News: “Labour, since the referendum has lost support in Scotland. And I said in the Labour leadership election last year that the job of rebuilding in Scotland was not an overnight task.
“It would have to be won over years, rebuilding that bond of trust that we had with the Scottish electorate, and obviously that trust has been broken, and there’s a long job of work to rebuild that,”
Key Corbyn ally John McDonnell admitted the anti-Semitism row had “set us back”, but insisted that the party would “come out of this stronger” with the credentials of “an anti-racist party where there is no room for any form of racism whatsoever”.