A furious David Cameron took the dramatic move of urging Jeremy Corbyn to quit as Labour leader, as the top politicians clashed at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) today (29 June). The outgoing Conservative leader, who announced his intention to stand down from the top job in the wake of the UK voting to split from the EU at a 23 June referendum, claimed it was in the national interest for Corbyn to quit.
"Look, if he's looking for excuses about why the side he and I were on during the referendum, frankly he should look somewhere else," Cameron declared. "And I have to say to the honourable gentleman, he talks about job insecurity and my two months to go, it might be in my party's interest for him to sit there, it's not in the national interest and I would say – for heaven's sake man, go."
The comments come after Labour MPs overwhelmingly backed a motion of "no confidence" against Corbyn. The move followed mass resignations from Labour's shadow cabinet in protest of Corbyn's sacking Hilary Benn as Shadow Foreign Secretary and in reaction to the left-winger's performance during the EU referendum. Corbyn was seen to keep a low profile during the campaign which saw Labour's heartlands across England and Wales back a Brexit.
But despite the revolt within Labour's parliamentary party, Corbyn has vowed to stay on. The veteran MP cited his 2015 election mandate as Labour leader, which saw him attract almost 60% of the vote.
"I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60% of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today's vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy," a defiant Corbyn said in a 28 June statement.
"We are a democratic party, with a clear constitution. Our people need Labour party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite behind my leadership at a critical time for our country."
The left winger is now expected to face a leadership challenge from former Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle, who played a prominent role in Labour's pro-EU campaign. Yvette Cooper, who came third behind Andy Burnham and Cobryn in the 2015 leadership contest, has also failed to rule out a bid.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives launched their own leadership election, with nominations opening today and closing tomorrow at noon. Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb is the first to launch his campaign, with Vote Leave campaigner Boris Johnson and Theresa May also expected to run. A new prime minister and Tory leader will be announced on 9 September.