16:09 GMT24 November 2020
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    Jeremy Corbyn announced on 13 December that he would not lead the Labour Party into another election after his party suffered its biggest defeat since 1935. The UK Labour leader has been heavily criticised for his contradictory attitude to Brexit, as well as failing to suitably deal with allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.

    Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has confirmed she will be standing for the Labour leadership, revealing she warned Jeremy Corbyn that supporting a Brexit election would be an "act of catastrophic political folly", The Guardian reported.

    "Boris Johnson proposed an election at a time of his own choosing, on an issue of his own choosing, and we went along with it – like crackers voting for Christmas. The Liberal Democrats agreed to it because they thought it would work in their favour, and Labour because we imagined we could change the subject. That was a total delusion", she said.

    Thornberry says she argued that the single issue of Brexit should not be enough to give Johnson a five-year mandate to enact his agenda on every issue.

    "Instead, I said we should insist on a referendum on his proposed deal, to get the issue of Brexit out of the way before any general election", she added.

    According to Thornberry, during her work as foreign secretary, her strategy was to "focus relentlessly on five key issues where there were huge differences between Labour’s policy and his, and where his position was indefensible: the Northern Ireland border; the war in Yemen; Donald Trump; human rights; and climate change".

    Emily Anne Thornberry has served in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Foreign Secretary since 2016, and Shadow First Secretary of State since 2017.

    Labour's Defeat

    The Conservative Party swept to a historic victory in a December general election by winning 365 of 650 seats and securing the largest Tory majority in the House of Commons since 1987. With a majority in the House of Commons secured, Johnson will look to get his Brexit withdrawal agreement through Parliament by Christmas.

    Prior to the election, Johnson encountered criticism for both the poor performance of many NHS hospitals and for his uncertain reaction after a journalist showed the Tory leader a photo of a young boy sleeping on an emergency room floor, due to lack of bed space.

    During the election campaign, Johnson outlined that he wanted to "get Brexit done" in order to devote time and resources to fund the NHS.

    On 27 November, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated that Labour had obtained "leaked" papers allegedly proving that the UK's nationalised health care service would be "on the table" in a post-Brexit deal with the United States.

    Following the crushing defeat, Corbyn stated that he would stand down as the head of the Labour Party. He will remain in his post until the Labour Party elects a new leader. Angela Rayner, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and Keir Starmer are among the potential candidates to become the new Labour leader.

    Emily Thornberry, UK Labour Party, United Kingdom
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