Jeremy Corbyn has held one-on-one talks with Labour MPs about them rejoining the shadow cabinet after the end of the leadership contest, he has said.
During a question and answer session on the website Mumsnet the Labour leader revealed that he had had “individual discussions” with his party colleagues ahead of Saturday’s result.
The claim by the leader comes after speculation that MPs who quit in late June could come back to the fold – as the most recent polls suggest Mr Corbyn will trounce his rival Owen Smith with an increased lead.
Over a dozen MPs quit Mr Corbyn’s front bench in the wake of the EU referendum, arguing that the Labour leader had not done enough to prevent Brexit and was not capable of leading the party generally.
Asked about forming a united party and shadow cabinet, Mr Coryn revealed that talks with other MPs had been been ongoing “over the last few weeks”.
“The election isn’t over yet, and if reelected I will invite a broad range of parliamentary colleagues to join in the shadow cabinet and shadow teams, and ask MPs to recognise the enormous participation in this leadership election by members and supporters who clearly want us to do politics differently, but also want us to come together to put forward a credible alternative to the austerity and inequality of the Conservative government,” he said.
“I have had many discussions with individual MPs over the last few weeks, and I sincerely hope we can come together after this election is over.”
The Parliamentary Labour Party has backed a motion to reintroduce elections to the shadow cabinet; these were scrapped by Ed Miliband in 2011.
That proposal however has to first pass the party’s National Executive Committee, which must then approve it for conference debate. Conference would then have to debate and support the issue for it to become policy.
Mr Corbyn himself has said he would like to introduce shadow cabinet elections but with the party membership having at least some say in the decision.
In an interview on the Today programme this morning Mr Corbyn insisted Labour was increasingly united despite the bitter conduct of the leadership election.
The result of the Labour leadership election will be announced at the start of the Labour party conference in Liverpool this weekend.
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