Senior Labour insiders said that Labour’s shock defeat in the Copeland by-election has prompted Jeremy Corbyn to reconsider his position as leader of the Labour Party.
Members of the Labour shadow cabinet and senior aides met late last night to discuss how to take the Labour Party forward after its humiliating defeat in former stronghold Copeland.
During the meeting, Corbyn acknowledged that the party had failed to get its message through in Cumbria and openly questioned whether he was still the right man to do the job, people present at the meeting said.
He is said to have openly admitted that it was his own leadership that was likely to have swung the vote towards the Tories.
However, it is understood several Labour front-benchers, including his former lover Diane Abbott, vouched to stand by him despite Labour’s poor performance.
The Copeland by-election was triggered by the resignation of former Labour MP Jamie Reed. Mr. Reed resigned following Corbyn’s refusal to sack a senior aide following anti-Semitic remarks made on Twitter.
The seat has been with Labour since its creation in 1982. Tory candidate Trudy Harrison snatched the seat by 2,147 votes, making the Conservatives the first governing party to gain a seat in a by-election since 1982.
Corbyn currently has one of the lowest approval ratings over any opposition leader ever, according to a poll by Ipsos Mori. He has also faced a number of leadership challenges in the past two years from colleagues.