In the last ten minutes, it has been announced that Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn has been sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after instigating a leadership coup to oust Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The coup was instigated due to a lack of confidence in Corbyn’s ability to unify the party in preparation for a potential snap General Election, with a Labour source saying:
“MPs and members were worried about their prospects at the next election under Corbyn, but thought they had four years to turn things around. Now many fear they may have just four months if a snap election is called.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said of the coup:
“We need a Labour voice to be heard and not to be crowded out by noisy infighting. It is the responsibility of Labour politicians to remember our duty to represent the will of our party and the Labour movement to fight for working people, and not to fight each other.”
It is understood that Benn was encouraging mass resignation from the Shadow Cabinet if Corbyn were to not resign in the face of the Vote of No Confidence called in him over his stance on the European Union. It has been widely suggested from within the Labour Party that Corbyn did not do enough to campaign, and that his “lukewarm” attitude to the campaign caused the narrow margin for Brexit.
Senior Labour sources have reported that Benn’s suggested mass resignations are likely to go ahead if Corbyn ignores the Vote of No Confidence.
The decision has been widely supported on Twitter, with some tweets reading:
— Ian S (@_ianon) June 26, 2016
RIP Hilary Benn, so enthused by his arguments to bomb people he decided to stick himself into a bomb’s payload and be dropped overseas
— YOU GOT THAT WRONG (@NotFaulty) June 26, 2016
This is a breaking story and will be updated as more news comes in.