Jeremy Corbyn sees off Remainer revolt as he mobilises army of hard-Left loyalists to BLOCK bid to force party to back reversing Brexit

  • Jeremy Corbyn survived crucial test of his authority at Labour conference today
  • Leader wants party to stay neutral on Brexit in election but offer a referendum  
  • Activists and shadow ministers had pushed a rebel motion urging Remain stance
  • But the revolt was seen off amid shambolic scenes in the conference hall 
  • There were shouts of 'stitch up' and 'disgrace' as the outcome was confirmed 
  • Earlier leader showed the strain he felt by losing his temper with reporters
  • Unison had supported the Remainer motion in a major setback for the leader
  • But Momentum pressure group offered lifeline by declaring it would stay loyal

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Jeremy Corbyn mobilised his army of hard-Left loyalists tonight as he saw off a bid by Remainers to seize control of Labour's Brexit policy - but further fueled the party's civil war.

The veteran left-winger survived a series of crunch votes at conference after a desperate battle to stop members from ordering him to commit to keeping the UK in the EU.

Activists traded brutal blows during a two-hour debate in Brighton, with supporters of the leader demanding his critics behave like 'socialists'.   

His motion was eventually carried on a show of hands, with delegates singing 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn'. 

A rival Remainer motion was then also defeated without a formal vote - although chaotic scenes were sparked as chair Wendy Nichols initially suggested it had been carried before being overruled by general secretary Jennie Formby, a close ally of the leader.  

'Sorry I thought it was one way... and Jennie said something else,' she said. 'Yes, that was lost.'  

Pro-EU members shouted 'disgrace' and 'stitch up' and demanded a full ballot, but their protests were waved away. 

‘If it wasn’t clear I would have asked for a card vote,' Ms Nichols said. 

Union baron Len McCluskey could not resist taunting Remainers after his faction emerged victorious, but shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said he was 'disappointed'. He insisted it was 'obvious' Labour would end up calling for the UK to stay in the EU. 

Mr Corbyn has been desperately struggling to stay on the fence over Brexit, saying he wants to fight an election and try to negotiate a new deal with the EU before deciding whether to back Leave or Remain in a second referendum.   

But pro-EU members were trying to take a wrecking ball to his tortuous stance, and pushed a motion that would have committed Labour to battling to stay in the bloc whatever the circumstances.  

Three major unions - Unison, Usdaw and the TSSA - broke ranks to join the revolt.

But the Momentum pressure group handed Mr Corbyn a lifeline by backing him. 

In a shock split, its founder Jon Lansman made clear he did not agree with the decision, tweeting that 'members should feel free to vote with their conscience'.  

Senior Labour sources on the Remain wing were bullish about their chances this afternoon, with one telling MailOnline there were 'good signs'. 

However, the weight of speeches in the hall suggested the pendulum had swung in Mr Corbyn's favour - and so it proved. 

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today) survived a series of crunch votes at conference after a desperate battle to stop members from ordering him to commit to keeping the UK in the EU

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today) survived a series of crunch votes at conference after a desperate battle to stop members from ordering him to commit to keeping the UK in the EU

Jeremy's Corbyn's Brexit motion was carried on a show of hands tonight - and the Remainer motion was then also defeated without a formal vote

Jeremy's Corbyn's Brexit motion was carried on a show of hands tonight - and the Remainer motion was then also defeated without a formal vote

The Remainer motion was defeated without a formal vote - although chaotic scenes were sparked as chair Wendy Nichols (pictured) initially suggested it had been carried before being overruled by general secretary Jennie Formby, a close ally of the leader

The Remainer motion was defeated without a formal vote - although chaotic scenes were sparked as chair Wendy Nichols (pictured) initially suggested it had been carried before being overruled by general secretary Jennie Formby, a close ally of the leader

Pro-EU members shouted 'disgrace' and 'stitch up' and demanded a full ballot, but their protests were waved away

Pro-EU members shouted 'disgrace' and 'stitch up' and demanded a full ballot, but their protests were waved away

Union baron Len McCluskey seemed to be gloating after the result was declared tonight

Union baron Len McCluskey seemed to be gloating after the result was declared tonight 

Pro-EU members shouted 'disgrace' and 'stitch up', while one delegate took to the stage to demand a full ballot (pictured), but their protests were waved away

Pro-EU members shouted 'disgrace' and 'stitch up', while one delegate took to the stage to demand a full ballot (pictured), but their protests were waved away

As chaos erupted in the party, Labour MPs voiced dismay at the situation they faced. 

‘We look like a chaotic, scruffy, angry, deluded and dangerous rabble,' he told Politics Home.

‘We hate success, hard work, intelligence and wealth. We like mediocrity, laziness and irresponsibility.

‘We aren’t sure what we think about the biggest crisis facing the country since the war.

‘We are chanting, cult-like, the name of a leader who has a public approval rating of (-60).

Labour chaos: How tonight's three votes on Brexit left delegates shouting 'stitch up!'

Labour delegates voted on three crunch Brexit motions this evening. 

The first vote was on a motion put forward by Labour's ruling National Executive Committee calling for the party to be neutral on Brexit until after the next general election. 

The motion received the overwhelming backing of delegates as a clear majority raised their hands to show their support for it. 

Then came the second, and most controversial, vote on a motion calling for Labour to commit to campaigning for Remain right now. 

Delegates were again asked to raise their hands and the chair of the meeting decided that there was a clear majority against the move and it was announced that it had been rejected.

However, a number of delegates were left furious at the decision as they believed the show of hands was close enough to warrant a recorded vote. 

But their calls for a formal so-called 'card vote' were rejected and the chair moved onto the third and final vote on Brexit. 

That was on a similar motion to the one put forward by the NEC, calling for the party to be neutral. 

That vote was passed by a clear majority after another show of hands.  

‘Why would anyone vote Labour? We deserve everything coming to us.’ 

Speaking at a Politico event tonight, Sir Keir said: 'We had a vote. It went the way it did... obviously I am disappointed by the result.'

He said it was ‘obvious where the membership is on this’, claiming voters knew that ultimately Labour would back Remain. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: 'I do not believe this decision reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of Labour members who desperately want to stop Brexit. 

'Labour IS a Remain party. I will continue campaigning with @LondonLabour to give the public the final say and stop Brexit.' 

Lib Dem Jo Swinson - whose party declared last week it will reverse Brexit if it wins power - also jumped on the result.

She said Mr Corbyn had proved he is a 'Brexiteer at heart'.

She said: “Jeremy Corbyn has again shown a total lack of leadership on Brexit and settled on yet another fudge on the biggest issue facing our country. 

'Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly had the opportunity to put the full force of the Labour behind a Remain position, but he has once again shown today that he is a Brexiteer at heart.'

Mr Corbyn showed the strain he was feeling earlier when he launched an extraordinary tirade at reporters. 

Losing his cool completely, Mr Corbyn - who used to refer to himself as 'Monsieur Zen' - raged at a media scrum as they jostled to ask questions, saying: 'This is our conference, these are our stalls... your behaviour is totally unacceptable.'   

Members voted on three separate motions - two that were effectively identical supporting the leader's position, and the rebel call for the party to campaign 'energetically' for Remain at an election.  

Defeat would have been more evidence that Mr Corbyn's grip on power is loosening. 

A poll suggested today that 54 per cent of Labour's voters from the 2017 election now believe he should quit. 

Opening the debate in the hall this afternoon, Simon Hannah of the Tooting constituency party was cheered to the rafters when he insisted: 'We need to say it loud and clear, we are a Remain party!' 

But backing the loyalist leadership motion, Sion Rickard said members should toe the line: 'This is not us versus them, this is not them versus us, we're not leavers and Remainers, we are socialists.

'As Len McCluskey said earlier, there's one door to Number 10 and the only way we can go through it is together.' 

As the battle for Labour's soul gathered pace, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry warned that it risked losing a third of its voters unless it abandoned Mr Corbyn's ambiguous Brexit stance.

She told the Labour leader that the party must decide 'now' whether to back Leave or Remain. 

John McDonnell, once seen as Mr Corbyn's closest ally, also made clear he thought Remain would always be the best option - although he left open the possibility that he could side with the leader.

'I think people should express their own judgement on this,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. 

'There will be some who think we can get a (better) deal, but there will be others like myself who think you cannot get a better deal than Remain.' 

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer also said he would campaign for Remain in a referendum, but stopped short of explicitly supporting the rebel motion. 

Meanwhile, another shadow cabinet member, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said Mr Corbyn had already conceded that his senior team will be free to endorse staying in the EU, whatever the party's official position.  

The Brexit spat has dominated Labour's conference in Brighton, despite a series of high-profile and high-spending promises - including abolishing private schools.  

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said in her speech this afternoon that in a referendum, 'I for one will be out there campaigning for Remain'.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said in her speech this afternoon that in a referendum, 'I for one will be out there campaigning for Remain'.

Delegates at the Labour conference in Brighton were making their views clear during the debate on Brexit tonight

Delegates at the Labour conference in Brighton were making their views clear during the debate on Brexit tonight

A poll suggested today that 54 per cent of Labour's voters from the 2017 election now believe he should quit

John McDonnell (pictured posing for a selfie at Labour conference today) said he personally believes there is no Brexit deal that would be better than EU membership

John McDonnell (pictured posing for a selfie at Labour conference today) said he personally believes there is no Brexit deal that would be better than EU membership

Mr Corbyn will today urge members to back a plan that would see the party's manifesto promise a second referendum, but without saying which side it would campaign for.

Labour's big spending policy announcements

The Labour frontbench has made numerous announcements during the first two days in Brighton for the party's annual conference. 

Many of them would have major ramifications for the exchequer - or the economy - should Jeremy Corbyn win the next general election. 

Here are some of Labour's most radical - and costly - proposals: 

The introduction of a four day working week

Make social care free-at-the-point-of-use for anyone in England who needs it 

End in-work poverty in the first term of a Labour government

Introduce a 'Real Living Wage' of at least £10 an hour

End the roll-out of Universal Credit  

Reverse all cuts to legal aid-funded early legal help

As PM he would then attempt to negotiate a new deal with Brussels before calling a referendum. 

Under his blueprint, the party would stay neutral about whether to back Remain or the Labour-negotiated deal until members make the decision for him at a special conference.

But Ms Thornberry said yesterday that members should 'thrash it out' this week, adding 'We're all here. I don't see why we can't make the decision now.'

She warned that Labour risked haemorrhaging support if it goes into a general election without being 'truthful' about being a Remain party.

'The polling does show that we could lose 30 per cent of the Labour vote to the Greens and the Lib Dems unless we are clear about where we stand on Europe,' she told a fringe meeting at the conference.

'I want Jeremy to be in No 10 and my view personally is that the best chance of doing that is to speak truthfully, which is we as a party are a Remain party.'

She was joined by other senior Labour figures, including London mayor Sadiq Khan, who urged delegates to refuse to support 'any compromise on Brexit'. 

In a Facebook post appealing to members, he wrote: 'Do not accept a fudge, do not delay us setting out what our stance would be in any future referendum.

'Labour has come to a crossroads. Labour is a Remain party and we need to make this official by making it our policy to campaign to stay in the European Union under all circumstances – and to whip our MPs to back that position.

'It's time for Labour to commit to stopping Brexit, not only by promising to give the British public the final say, but by pledging to throw all our energy behind the campaign to stay in the European Union.'

Losing his cool completely at Labour conference earlier today, Jeremy Corbyn - who used to refer to himself as 'Monsieur Zen' - raged at a media scrum as they jostled to ask questions

Losing his cool completely at Labour conference earlier today, Jeremy Corbyn - who used to refer to himself as 'Monsieur Zen' - raged at a media scrum as they jostled to ask questions

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured left at the Labour party conference in Brighton) is at war with his party over Brexit as activists demand he full-heartedly backs Remain

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured left at the Labour party conference in Brighton) is at war with his party over Brexit as activists demand he full-heartedly backs Remain

Mr Corbyn took time out to visit the WWF stand at the conference centre in Brighton today

Mr Corbyn took time out to visit the WWF stand at the conference centre in Brighton today

Union baron Len McCluskey has poured fuel on the flames of the Brexit row by demanding a shadow cabinet clearout of those who do not support Mr Corbyn's stance

Union baron Len McCluskey has poured fuel on the flames of the Brexit row by demanding a shadow cabinet clearout of those who do not support Mr Corbyn's stance 

Mr Corbyn tried to put a brave face on his conference woes as he listened to Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard's speech on stage in Brighton today

Mr Corbyn tried to put a brave face on his conference woes as he listened to Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard's speech on stage in Brighton today 

Deputy leader Tom Watson, who survived a bungled effort by Mr Corbyn's allies to oust him over the weekend, delivered a stark message that Labour must support Remain. 

More than half of Labour voters from 2017 election want Jeremy Corbyn to QUIT 

More than half of Labour voters from 2017 want Jeremy Corbyn to quit, a damning poll revealed today.

Some 54 per cent of his supporters at the last election now say he should go - and the view is shared by 58 per cent of the wider population. 

Earlier this week polls found Mr Corbyn's popularity ratings have plumbed new depths at a net minus 60, below the worst level recorded by his left-wing hero Michael Foot in the aftermath of the Falklands War.

Labour has also been trailing the Tories by 15 points on voting intention as the unashamedly pro-Remain Lib Dems siphon off the party's supporters.   

A YouGov poll for the Times today found that 54 per cent of Labour voters from 2017, and 58 per cent of the general public, think that Mr Corbyn should resign.

A third of the much smaller group who currently say they will vote Labour said that he should quit.

One in three of his voters also think Labour Brexit position is confusing, and two-thirds of Remain voters say the same.

YouGov surveyed 1,650 adults on September 18 and 19. 

At a fringe rally he said: 'We are a Remain party. We are a European party. We are an internationalist party. 

'That is who we are. Not perfect, not pure. But overwhelmingly committed to Britain remaining in Europe.'

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said that she would campaign for Remain at a second EU referendum, while Nia Griffiths, Labour's defence spokesman, said that Brexit would leave Britain worse off.

However, union baron Len McCluskey urged members to stick with Mr Corbyn.  

'Let me say here that Jeremy Corbyn is a thousand times right in trying to speak to our whole country at this time of crisis,' he said.

'When we have the Tories dismissing half of our nation. And the Liberals are writing off the other half.

'It is only Jeremy's Labour that puts social justice first, that says whether you are Leave or Remain' matters less than your class.

'We should not let anyone define or divide us as Leavers or Remainers.' 

Yesterday he poured fuel on the flames of the row by demanding a Shadow Cabinet clear out of those who do not support Mr Corbyn's stance.

Appearing on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, the Unite general secretary said: 'We must go into an election united and when we have a policy on Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn makes it clear that that is the policy then that is what leading members of the Shadow Cabinet should argue for.

In his conference speech today, Mr McDonnell vowed to introduce a 32-hour working week within a decade

In his conference speech today, Mr McDonnell vowed to introduce a 32-hour working week within a decade

'If they find that they can't argue for it because they feel strongly, well of course they have that right but they should step aside.' 

Even if the Remainer motion had gone through, officials said it would not necessarily have ended up in the manifesto - even though Mr Corbyn pledged yesterday to 'obey' the will of conference.

The final decision on that rests with the Clause 5 committee, made up of Mr Corbyn, the shadow cabinet, the ruling NEC, and unions.  

Mr Corbyn yesterday defended his plan. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: 'What we have said is that we would want to hold a consultation, a special conference of our party at the point that we have got this offer from the EU, we've got this as a Remain – and hopefully reform – option.

'Because I do think even those that are strongly in favour of Remain would recognise the EU needs to have some reforms.'

In response to MPs and activists calling for the party to come out in support of Remain now, Mr Corbyn said: 'I will go along with whatever decision the party comes to.' 

Mr Corbyn was embroiled in bad-tempered exchanges with the BBC's Andrew Marr yesterday as he denied his time as leader was coming to an end.

Labour pledges four-day working week with no cut in pay 

Labour would introduce a 32-hour week for workers without them losing money within the next decade, John McDonnell claimed today.

The shadow chancellor said that it was important people 'work to live, not live to work' as he addressed the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

It was one of a swathe of employment policies unveiled the hardline frontbencher, including scrapping zero-hours contracts.

Labour has already called for a four-day week for workers in an age of increased automation.

Mr McDonnell said the UK had the longest working hours in Europe behind Greece and Austria and there had been little progression cutting average hours since the 1970s.

To applause from hundreds of delegates and activists this afternoon he said: 'I can tell you today that the next Labour government will reduce average full-time hours to 32 a week within the next decade. 

'It will be a shorter working week with no loss of pay.'

The cut in hours goes further than a report commissioned to look into the issue by Jeremy Corbyn's party. 

In an interview, he said rumours of his demise were 'wishful thinking' from critics - suggesting they included Marr himself. He insisted he will serve a full five-year term if elected PM.

However, a senior Labour figure told MailOnline Mr Corbyn was 'terrified' at the possibility of Boris Johnson resigning and the Queen asking him to be PM. 

'If Jeremy had to become PM he would find that terrifying,' the senior MP said.

'He doesn't like taking decisions, he doesn't want to be the person who has 20 text messages to deal with before he goes to bed at midnight, and is woken up at 6am with more demands on his time.'

They said Mr Corbyn had never been prepared for the pressures of running a party, let alone a country.  

'He's happy when he's got something to push back against,' the MP said.

'But when power becomes more real and he's got to reconcile competing interests, he just can't do it.'  

In another blow today, a YouGov poll for the Times found that 54 per cent of Labour voters from 2017, and 58 per cent of the general public, think that Mr Corbyn should resign.

A third of the much smaller group who currently say they will vote Labour said that he should quit.

One in three of his voters also think Labour Brexit position is confusing, and two-thirds of Remain voters say the same.

YouGov surveyed 1,650 adults on September 18 and 19.

Jeremy Corbyn mobilises hard-Left army as Labour's Brexit war rages

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