General Election 2019: Re-elected Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as Labour leader after Conservatives’ landslide victory
PUBLISHED: 06:27 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 06:35 13 December 2019
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In his bittersweet Islington North victory speech Jeremy Corbyn announced he will not lead Labour into another election – but will stay on until his successor is chosen.
Mr Corbyn has been elected Islington North MP for the 10th time with 34,603 votes, down slightly from a whopping 40,086 ballots in 2017.
He said Labour's dire set of national results - with the Tories on course for their biggest majority since Thatcher - made for a "very disappointing night", but blamed Brexit and said the socialist ideals he has fought for are "eternal".
Mr Corbyn said: "I'm proud to represent the people of Islington North and I'm proud in Parliament and outside that we will forever continue the cause for socialism, for social justice and for a society based on the needs of all rather than the greed of a few. [...] Those ideas and those principles are eternal.
"I will work as I always have to represent and defend the people of my constituency."
His closest challenger was Nick Wakeling (Liberal Democrats) won 8,415 votes, followed by James Clark (Conservatives) on 5,483.
Chasing the pack, Caroline Russell (Greens) got 4,326 votes, Yosef David (Brexit Party) took 742 ballots and Nick the Flying Brick 236.
Mr Corbyn added: "The fundamental Labour message about justice and equality within our society is going to be won, that is there for all time because it is the very core of what my party believes in - and what I will always advocate on behalf of my constituency and my party.
"I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign. I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and the policies the party will take going forward. And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place."
He said he's proud of Labour's campaign because it "did not descend into the gutter" or "undertake personal abuse.
Mr Corbyn also hit out at "media intrusion" into the lives of politicians and their families, calling it "disgraceful and quite frankly disgusting".
He added: "I want to thank my three sons, want to thank my wife for all that she puts up with because of the way in which the media behave towards me, towards her and indeed toward my party in this election campaign."
Despite bruising defeat, Mr Corbyn said Labour put forward a manifesto of "hope" and "unity" that could have corrected the "injustices that exist in the country".
He said Labour's policies on housing, education, the national health service and the climate emergency were "extremely popular" during the election campaign, and still are.
But he said Brexit "divided and polarised debate in this country" and this contributed to the large Tory majority, which has seen Boris Johnson's party seize seats in Leave supporting areas like Blyth Valley and Workington.
In Islington North, 75,162 people registered to vote in, which is up 331 people on the electorate of 74,831 in 2017. And 71.8 per cent of the those registered voted this time around.
The shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry was re-elected in Islington South & Finsbury with 26,897 votes and Lib Dem Kate Pothalingam came second with 9,569.
Mr Corbyn was a Haringey councillor when he became the candidate to challenge Michael O'Halloran for his Islington North seat at the 1983 general election - a battle he went on to win. O'Halloran had been elected as a Labour MP but defected to sit as an independent.
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