Diane Abbott: Corbyn will stay even if we lose by-elections

Jeremy Corbyn does not have to worry about his future as Labour leader even if his party loses both upcoming by-elections, Diane Abbott has said.

Labour's shadow home secretary said that the opposition party is "hopeful" of retaining its seats in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central, but she dismissed the prospect of a leadership change if they lose either contest.

Mr Corbyn faces a difficult task in keeping both seats, particularly in Stoke where Ukip poses a threat in an area which voted to leave the EU.

Ms Abbott, speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on her political programme, said: "These are difficult by-elections, they're going to be quite tight.

"We are hopeful of winning both of them but it's really important that every Labour supporter comes out to vote.

"And if we lose one or we lose both, I think the party will go forward. It has to go forward."

Ms Ridge pressed Abbott, saying: "So no questions over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership then if he loses?"

Ms Abbott replied: "No, no. I mean there are people who have been opposed to Jeremy from the very beginning, I'm not one of them and I think we have to move forward."