Jeremy Corbyn urges party to 'respect democracy' and unite

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has appealed to his party members to unite as an opposition to the Conservative government.

In a column for the Sunday Mirror, Corbyn, who has been under pressure to quit since nearly his entire shadow cabinet resigned last week, said he was willing to "reach out" to MPs who didn't accept his election as leader.

But he said they need to "respect democracy" in relation to the EU referendum and his election as party leader.

We must respect the democratic ­decision of the British people – and negotiate a new relationship with the EU. The need to respect democracy also goes for the Labour Party. I was elected nine months ago, by 60 per cent of Labour members and supporters, for a new kind of politics in a country that clearly wants real change. I am ready to reach out to Labour MPs who didn’t accept my election and oppose my leadership – and work with the whole party to provide the alternative the country needs.

Jeremy Corbyn
Former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle is expected to launch a leadership challenge to Mr Corbyn. Credit: PA

But Mr Corbyn also stressed that they also need "to respect the democracy of our party and the views of Labour’s membership, which has increased by more than 60,000 in the past week alone".

"Those who want to challenge my leadership are free to do so in a democratic contest, in which I will be a candidate."

"But the responsibility of our whole party is to stand up in united opposition to the Tory Government," he added.

Meanwhile, Angela Eagle, who is expected to launch a leadership challenge against Mr Corbyn, has renewed her call for him to do the "right thing for the party and the country".