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  1. ITV Report

Corbyn tells Labour critics to 'turn fire' on the Tories

Jeremy Corbyn's time as Labour leader has been met by consistent opposition from a section of his party colleagues. Credit: Reuters

Jeremy Corbyn has urged unruly Labour MPs to "turn our fire" on the Tories instead of giving a "running commentary" on the party in the media.

In an address to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) he accepted the party was still not in a position to win the next election under his leadership.

But he insisted it had "moved in the right direction" amid disappointing local election results last week as he called on his party rivals to end their sniping.

Corbyn's period in charge has been met by consistent opposition from a section of his party colleagues, who he urged to redirect their ire on the government.

"I don’t expect, or even want, blind loyalty," Mr Corbyn was due to say at the weekly meeting with his peers in Westminster.

"But members and supporters expect us all to focus on taking on the Tories – and for our debates to be focused on policy, not personality."

He added: "Members also tell me that they don’t think Labour MPs should be parading on the media to give a running commentary on our party."

Corbyn's left-wing agenda has displeased a section of his party colleagues in Westminster but there appears no prospect of an imminent challenge to his leadership. Credit: Reuters

Mr Corbyn hailed the victories in "all four mayoral elections" but admitted the results in the 'Super Thursday' polls were "mixed", adding: "We are not yet doing enough to win in 2020."

Mr Corbyn became the first opposition leader for 50 years to lose council seats in his first local elections and saw the party routed in Scotland and falter in Wales.

Sadiq Khan - whose victory in the London mayoral contest provided the party with an eye-catching result - is among senior figures to have warned the leadership it must seek support beyond a left-wing activist base.

Senior colleagues have clashed openly on social media amid an increasingly fraught atmosphere within the PLP.

However there appears to be no prospect of any imminent challenge against Mr Corbyn as party leader.

The Labour leader was expected to tell his colleagues the party shared his core values.

We are united across our party in our opposition to the destructive austerity, failed economic policies and the deep unfairness of this government.

There is a broad consensus in support of a different kind of politics and a new economic strategy built around public investment and enterprise and fair taxation. Last week's elections showed Labour's recovery has begun in earnest. We now need to work together to turn that into the kind of sustained revival that will deliver an election victory for the whole country in 2020.

– Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

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