The leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, says he will not hold a second referendum as his leadership opponent, Owen Smith, promises to hold one if elected to succeed Corbyn.
The 67-year old veteran socialist stated that he had no intention of changing the Brexit vote, saying in an interview with the Huffington PostUK that the public “clearly have said ‘no’.”
“I think we’ve had a referendum, a decision has been made, you have to respect the decision people made. We were given the choice, we after all supported holding a referendum so we must abide by the decision.”
Former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith, the leadership challenger who announced his decision to run last month, has pledged to hold a second referendum on a Brexit deal if he is elected leader of the Labour Party. He said the British public should be given “another chance."
Labour is engulfed in a bitter internal power struggle between Corbyn's supporters in the grassroots membership and the party's lawmakers, who overwhelmingly rejected his leadership after Britain's vote to leave the EU last month. As a result, many of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet members resigned and publicly stated they had no confidence in his leadership.
Corbyn has remained steadfast in staying as the party’s leader. On Saturday, he indicted that he could stay on as Labour leader, even if the party suffers a defeat at the next general election.
Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell assumed that Corbyn would resign if the party loses the next general election, saying he has previously said he and his long-time political ally would resign immediately if Labour loses the next general election. “Any Labour leader who loses an election usually goes,” he said.
Corbyn’s opponents challenged his leadership for what they call inadequate efforts to keep the UK in the European Union.
Corbyn and Smith have until September 21 to appeal to voters and defeat Smith. The results will be announced in a Liverpool conference three days later.