Corbyn challenge 'as likely as a snowstorm in the Sahara'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his deputy Tom Watson Credit: PA

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has dismissed the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn facing a leadership challenge and has called for "patience" after a "mixed bag" of election results.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, Mr Watson said a leadership challenge was "about as likely as a snowstorm in the Sahara".

But he acknowledged that "Labour still has a mountain to climb if we are to return to Government in 2020".

"If there is one quality Labour Party members will need as we seek to return to Downing Street it is patience.

"Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of our party eight months ago with an overwhelming mandate to take the party in a new direction.

"But that won't happen overnight. Our share of the vote was higher than it was a year ago, when we suffered a painful election defeat.

"That's why a leadership challenge is about as likelyas a snowstorm in the Sahara", he added.