Corbyn re-elected as Labour leader

After months of infighting Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as the leader of the Labour Party with 61.8 percent of the vote. Corbyn had come under pressure from within his party among other things because he didn't endorse the UK remaining in the EU. Labour will be weakened for a long time to come, commentators believe.

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Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

Corbyn's re-election a fatal blow for his party

Corbyn's radical left-wing ideas are the death-blow for Labour and will ruin democracy in the UK, Il Sole 24 Ore laments:

“On Saturday the United Kingdom joined the embarrassing family of countries with a one-party system. It now finds itself in the company of a number of African dictatorships. … This is because of Jeremy Corbyn's re-election as the leader of the Labour Party. Because it shows that the reason for Corbyn's rise to power a year ago was not shock over the party's poor performance under Ed Miliband in the general election. It wasn't a slip-up of history that the shadow government chose the most radical Labour politician of all time as its leader. It was a conscious decision by the militant to commit political suicide. … On Saturday Labour blocked its own path to government.”

Phileleftheros (CY) /

Tories gaining leeway

Corbyn's re-election as Labour leader will ultimately benefit the Conservatives, Phileleftheros predicts:

“Corbyn has split the party as few have done before him, and for that reason the attempt to create unity seems like a Herculean task. ... His views are considered obsolete and unrealisable. Many of the young people who voted for him won't turn out for the parliamentary elections. While Labour tries to get its act together, the Conservatives will gain more and more leeway. ... Analysts believe the Tories are already set to win the 2020 parliamentary elections thanks to strife in the opposition. But only if they can pave the way for a relatively smooth Brexit.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Labour must stand up to government

The Labour party should stop its quarrelling and form a united front, The Irish Times urges:

“Labour’s internal divisions have helped to alienate the broader electorate, with a new poll on Sunday putting the party 15 points behind Theresa May’s Conservatives. ... With the leadership issue settled for the foreseeable future, Labour’s factions should shift their focus outward, and work to make the party more effective in holding the government to account. Britain needs a strong opposition to maintain pressure on May to negotiate a deal that keeps Britain as closely integrated with the European Union as possible after Brexit. Such a deal is not only in Britain’s economic and political interest but in Europe’s, and most particularly in Ireland’s.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Soft Brexit off the agenda

Those who are fighting to maintain Britain's ties with the EU will now have a harder time than ever, De Volkskrant is sure:

“Corbyn must now lead an opposition that includes 172 reluctant Labour MPs who are passionately in favour of British EU membership. It would be in the interest of Britain - and also of the other 27 EU member states - for these 172 MPs to stick to their guns and force Prime Minister Theresa May to negotiate a 'soft Brexit'. But such hopes are in vain. As of today the Conservative government no longer has an effective opposition. That seems to put May in a comfortable position. But the fact that Brexit supporters now have the say both among the Tories and in the Labour Party limits her negotiating room with the EU. That is tragic for Theresa May as an advocate of British EU membership. But above all it's tragic for Europe.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Blair's failure strengthened party's left wing

Voters were disillusioned by ex-prime minister Tony Blair's New Labour, The Guardian writes explaining the widespread support for the far-left Labour leader:

“Corbyn’s most ideological opponents should also take time to reflect on their own failures. Lacking a coherent and inspiring vision, they left a vacuum and are furious it was filled. When New Labour triumphed in 1997, social democrats were on the march across western Europe. Today, the German social democrats - whose leader promotes Blair-type third way politics - hover between 18% and 22% in the opinion polls. Spain’s social democrats have a telegenic leader, but haemorrhage support to the radical left. If Labour’s right had an obvious route map to power, they would not be in such a parlous state.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Hats off to Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has retained the party leadership without giving up his principles, Der Standard writes in praise:

“The intrigues have changed nothing: Jeremy Corbyn will continue to lead the British Labour Party with an even larger mandate after Saturday's vote. ... The old and new party leader should not be blamed for delighting in this show of support. And he must be praised for defending his convictions whether or not others share them. However it would be good if he used this wave of success to finally distance himself from those who have been among his supporters until now: anti-Semites attracted by his criticism of Israel and fanatics who abuse and threaten their opponents.”