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8 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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British election

Labour Party hit by internal strife

AFP, London

A resignation and a defection are forcing Jeremy Corbyn to confront two scourges hounding his Labour Party as it tries to unseat UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: anti-Semitism and Brexit. Labour is hoping to regain power for the first time in nearly a decade when voters go to the polls on December 12 to help settle the crisis caused by Britain’s delayed divorce from the EU. It was looking like an uphill slog from the start: Corbyn has some of the worst approval ratings of any leader of the opposition on record and his century-old party is badly behind in the polls. Yet he almost performed a come-from-behind miracle in the last general election in 2017. The veteran socialist is a renowned campaigner who seems to stir to life during election season.

He will now need to recover from another tough start.

His deputy Tom Watson—a champion of party centrists who oppose Brexit and criticise Corbyn’s handling of repeated anti-Semitism scandals—announced he was stepping down on Wednesday. Watson said in a letter to Corbyn that his decision was “personal, not political”.

But the New Statesman magazine’s political editor Stephen Bush said Watson’s resignation only underscored Labour’s steady creep toward the hard left under Corbyn’s rule.

“The news is a shock, but it confirms what we already know: that Jeremy Corbyn has won Labour’s civil war,” Bush wrote.

The party has been split between those who like the European Union and those who oppose its rules and want to restrict an influx of foreign workers. A pro-Corbyn group called Momentum tried to organise a mini-coup and eliminate Watson’s post during last month’s party conference.

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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