Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle set to quit as Corbyn faces leadership revolt

 
Julian Harris
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Angela Eagle "heartbroken over the position in which the party finds itself" (Source: Getty)

Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle will be one of the next high profile members of Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet to quit, City A.M. understands.

In total, 11 members of the shadow cabinet have resigned while shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was sacked in the early hours of Sunday morning for allegedly encouraging ministers to resign.

Senior Labour MPs are piling pressure on Corbyn to stand down for running a half-hearted campaign for a Remain vote. Despite the intense pressure, the Labour leader insists he'll fight on.

In a statement, he said: "I regret there have been resignations today from my shadow cabinet. But I'm not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me - or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them.

“Those who want to change Labour’s leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate.

“Over the next 24 hours I will reshape my shadow cabinet and announce a new leadership team to take forward Labour’s campaign for a fairer Britain - and to get the best deal with Europe for our people.”

Corbyn is set to address campaigners at a protest outside parliament organised by Momentum, the campaign group that supports the leader of the opposition, as Labour MPs meet to consider a no confidence motion in Corbyn’s leadership.

Shadow commons leader Chris Bryant, who resigned tonight, said: “We need someone new to unite and lead Labour.”

Earlier today a source told the Guardian that Angela Eagle is "heartbroken about the position in which the party finds itself and desperately worried we’re failing to connect with communities across the country”.

Read more: Labour MPs table motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn

Labour's chief whip Rosie Winterton and Maria Eagle, shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, are also expected to announce their resignations imminently.

The string of resignations included shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander, equalities spokeswoman Gloria de Piero, Scottish secretary Ian Murray, shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, shadow transport secretary Lilian Greenwood, shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy, shadow chief treasury secretary Seema Malhotra, shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker, shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer, shadow attorney general Karl Turner and shadow commons leader Chris Bryant

Read more: Labour Party has suffered under Corbyn's leadership, says top Labour donor

Labour's biggest individual donor John Mills, who donated £1.65m of shares in his shopping channel company to the party, told City A.M. yesterday that the party has has lost touch under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

He said that Corbyn's views don't necessarily reflect that of the party.

Mills said: "As Labour leader, he [Corbyn] should be concerned about Labour voters not voting for Labour policies.

He quoted figures from Lord Ashcroft's referendum poll according to which 63 per cent of Labour voters voted Remain and Labour voters made up four in every 10 Remainers and only two in 10 Leavers.

"Corbyn is disappointed about the result of the EU referendum as many others.

"He went wrong by not backing Leave and the party being divided on the EU issue is not a happy position.

"The party should've been more constructive and critical towards the EU and should have recognised that people are concerned about immigration, democracy, employment and the EU turning into a super-state."

"It wasn't wise of the Labour party to neglect the fact that EU issues split the party."

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