An Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Dear Mr Corbyn

I write to you as a sincere, lifelong Labour supporter, voter and sometime (and current) member of the Party.

I can’t hide the fact that I did not want you to win the 2015 leadership election – I fundamentally disagree with you on many many issues and, given your consistent stance (for which you must have tremendous credit), that is not likely to change.

But I hope you do not dismiss my letter on this basis. I hope you acknowledge that I, and many of your critics, are just as passionate in our support of the Labour Party as you are, and sincerely hold as our dearest wish that a strong, united Labour Party wins power in the next general election.

I am not an MP, a Councillor, a banker, a journalist or member of “the establishment”, or any organisation other than the Labour Party.

I am a grass roots Labour member – currently unemployed – and I fear that your actions in the last weeks have been nothing short of disastrous for the Party and indeed for the UK.

Whatever your sincerity, whatever your policy positions, it is inescapably clear that the Parliamentary Labour Party has lost confidence in you as leader. That is, whether you like it or not, a fact which you have – quite unbelievably – ignored.

That vote ultimately makes one of two things inevitable. Either your position as leader is untenable, or the position of 172 of your MPs is untenable.

There is no third way. Even if you convince some or all of those 172 to change their mind, how can they campaign in support of a manifesto and a party led by you in 2020 (or before) without having their credibility utterly shredded by their opponents and the media.

It is simply inconceivable that Labour could win an election in these circumstances.

I recognise that you won last year’s election fairly and with a strong mandate from Labour supporters, and that there are many in the grass roots who are passionate supporters. But the problem I have set out above is not personal, it is not about your policies, it is not even about your (in my view) utter lack of leadership quality.

It is a simple statement of political reality, and – on behalf of the millions of ordinary people in Britain (including your supporters) who desperately need a strong, functioning opposition to this awful Tory government and a clear electoral victory for Labour – I beg you.

The future of the Party – and the country – is in your hands. You can continue with your leadership and consign Labour to at least 5 years, probably many more, of opposition.

OR – you can stand aside for the good of the Party, and allow us to heal and to move forward under a new leader … and hopefully to oust the Tories at the earliest opportunity.

I pray that you make the right choice.

Yours desperately

Elliot Cohen



I have just read this piece by Dan Rebellato. It gives me heart to know that some natural “Corbynistas” are also thinking about what’s best for the Party.