Wales politics

Labour crisis: I would find it hard to carry on, says Jones

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Media captionCarwyn Jones says Labour has 'no chance' of winning a general election in the current situation

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said it would be very difficult for him to carry on as leader if he faced the same situation as Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn has not resigned despite losing a no-confidence vote of MPs.

Mr Jones said that in the current situation Labour had "no chance" of winning a general election.

He also revealed that Welsh officials had started discussions in Brussels, following the vote to leave the EU.

Labour MPs passed a no-confidence motion in Jeremy Corbyn by 172-40 on Tuesday and a leadership challenge is expected.

Mr Jones was asked on BBC Wales TV's The Wales Report programme if he would carry on if he had a situation in the Welsh Assembly, as Jeremy Corbyn had experienced, where the overwhelming majority of Labour AMs were calling for him to stand down.

Mr Jones said it was "very difficult to see how that would be possible if that happened here in Cardiff".

"The only way to resolve this is through another leadership contest," he said.

Mr Jones said Labour could not win an election if it was seen as divided.

"We have no chance of winning an election as things stand, given the current state of the party in Westminster, and this needs to be resolved," he said.


Mr Jones told the programme: "I never call on other leaders in my own party to consider their position, that's not my role.

"What I do say though and what is obvious to everybody, is that we can't carry on with things as they are."

Image caption Jeremy Corbyn joined Carwyn Jones on the campaign trail in Maesteg before May's assembly election

Mr Jones said the Welsh Government was now setting up its own team in Brussels.

He said: "The job of that team will be to start the discussions with European institutions."

"The people of Wales voted to Leave the European Union. They didn't vote to be done over as part of that process," he said.

Mr Jones added: "We're on a different trajectory to Scotland, but from my perspective I want to make sure we get the best deal for Wales."

Earlier Mr Jones said his party members were "kidding themselves" if they thought they could win a general election with a "disunited party".

On Saturday, Newport West Labour MP Paul Flynn called for critics of the Labour leader to "shut-up" - but on his blog on Wednesday said the overwhelming impression at a meeting of Labour MPs on Monday was that Mr Corbyn "should not continue".

He told BBC Wales: "We have got to take it back to the party and the party will decide, but his time is coming to an end."

Mr Flynn said "so many people have quit the front bench" it would be difficult for Mr Corbyn to form a "credible" shadow cabinet.

"It's a choice between either internal hell in the party, face up to division in the party, or go into an election with a greatly damaged leader," Mr Flynn said.

He added that he expected a leadership challenge to be made on Wednesday, and that he would back Angela Eagle.

'Dead trouble'

Meanwhile Wales' former first minister Rhodri Morgan said Mr Corbyn could not carry on as Labour leader while most of his MPs had "no faith" in his ability to lead them into a general election.

Referring to divisions in the party, he said: "What we've got at the moment is the 'guacamole' sort of people not blending with the 'mushy peas' people at all.

"We've got to get that magic recipe back, otherwise we're in dead trouble if there's an election this autumn.

"You have to assume that you must try and get a Labour leader who looks a credible occupant of number 10 Downing Street."

Image caption Rhodri Morgan says Labour needs a 'credible' leader, and backs Angela Eagle to replace Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Morgan said of Mr Corbyn: "Everything in his entire political life has been orientated towards being in a protest rally outside number 10, not holding the seals of office inside number 10," he said.

"He's not made of that kind of raw material."

Darren Williams, secretary of the left-leaning Welsh Labour Grassroots movement, previously said: "Jeremy Corbyn was elected with a huge mandate from the party membership and we should be uniting behind him."

Watch the Carwyn Jones interview in full on The Wales Report, BBC One Wales, Wednesday 29 June at 22:40 BST

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