Shadow Home Secretary and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington Diane Abbott has said that Labour losses in the Stoke Central and Copeland by-elections would not affect Jeremy Corbyn’s standing as Labour Leader.
Speaking on the Sky News show Ridge on Sunday, Abbott said,
“These are difficult by-elections, they are going to be quite tight. We are hopeful of winning both of them, but it’s really important that every Labour supporter comes out to vote.
“And if we lost one or we lose both, the party will go forward – it has to go forward.
“I’m confident Jeremy will lead us into 2020. The point about the polls is you’ve had nearly a year of a sustained campaign against Jeremy and the Labour party, both in the media and sadly a few of our MPs.
“I think, as we move beyond what has been almost a year of misrepresentation of Jeremy’s position, I think if you move beyond that and the more people get to see him and hear him, whether it’s in the media or at campaigning events, I’m confident the polls will improve.”
Labour are set to lose the Copeland by-election to the Conservatives, but are expected to scrape a hold in Stoke after scandal after scandal involving UKIP’s Paul Nuttall.
Abbott also dismissed reports that Rebecca Long-Bailey and Angela Rayner are being tested as potential successors to Corbyn, stating that testing the public perception of shadow cabinet ministers is a common practice.