Dan Jarvis leaves door open to Labour leadership bid

Labour needs a “clean break” from Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, including a clear out of his aides, one of the party’s leading MPs has said.

Dan Jarvis, the Barnsley Central MP who is also mayor of the Sheffield City Region, called for a “fresh start” once Mr Corbyn stands down.

And the 47-year-old did not rule out a bid for the Labour leadership himself in the New Year.

Mr Jarvis said his party is facing a “massive moment” following their fourth general election defeat in a row – with this month’s result the worst since 1935 – and will need to “think carefully” about their choice of new leader.

He told BBC Radio 4: “In my own region of South Yorkshire, people felt they didn’t think the Labour party spoke for them any more.

“In a traditional Labour heartland, too many people said they weren’t prepared to vote Labour this time.

“We’ve got to listen to those people, we’ve got to understand why that was the case and we’ve got to do something about it.

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“Yes, it is about the leader. It’s about having someone who you can credibly present to the country as a prime minister.”

Jeremy Corbyn with his chief of staff Karie Murphy
Image: There are growing calls for Jeremy Corbyn’s close aide Karie Murphy to resign

Mr Jarvis, who served in Kosovo and Afghanistan during his military career, also demanded Mr Corbyn’s top aides, such as Karie Murphy and Seumas Milne, depart from the top of the party.

He said: “We need a new leadership team, a new leader, new people coming into the shadow cabinet, some new advisers in the leader’s office: a clean break with the past and a fresh start.”

In the wake Labour’s election defeat, Ms Murphy and Mr Milne have been subject to anger for remaining in their posts while more junior staff face possible redundancies.

Mr Jarvis was previously touted as a Labour leadership candidate when Ed Miliband resigned in 2015.

The father-of-three didn’t run as he had recently remarried after losing his first wife to cancer.

But he did not rule out standing for the leadership this time round.

“I will be slightly suspicious of anybody who is declaring their candidacy on Christmas Eve,” he said.

“I have a very, very significant commitment as mayor. I take that very seriously, but I do want to play my part.”

Sadiq Khan says Jeremy Corbyn is an unpopular leader
Sadiq Khan: ‘Our leader was extremely unpopular’

London mayor Sadiq Khan told Sky News that Labour’s “catastrophic” election defeat was “not just all about Jeremy Corbyn”, but added: “There is a role to play in the fact that our leader was extremely unpopular.

“Some of the policies weren’t great, there were concerns about Brexit, we didn’t learn the right lessons from the defeat in 2015.”

Mr Khan has defended the decision to allow Mr Miliband, who was Labour leader at the 2015 election, to be among those heading up a major inquest into this year’s defeat.

But Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, a possible leadership contender herself, warned Labour is in danger of learning the wrong lessons from this month’s election.

“We need to be out in places like Ashfield, listening to people like the ex-miner I met yesterday, not sitting in meeting rooms in Westminster trying to debate this out amongst ourselves with the help of a few think-tanks,” she said.

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