London, Dec 31 (IANS) Jeremy Corbyn has urged his Labour Party to lead “the resistance” to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative government over the coming year despite its crushing defeat in the decisive December 12 general election.
In his traditional leader’s New Year message, Corbyn on Monday made no direct reference to the election result or his own future, suggesting 2019 had been “quite the year for our country and for our Labour movement”, the BBC reported.
While the party is set to be out of power for at least another four years, he said it must continue to make its influence felt and stand up for its values.
“It won’t be easy… But we have built a movement. We are the resistance to Boris Johnson. We will be campaigning every day. We will be on the front line, both in Parliament and on the streets,” Corbyn said.
“Make no mistake, our movement is very strong… We’re not backed by the press barons, by the billionaires or by the millionaires who work for the billionaires. We’re backed by you. We are by the many, for the many.”
With the contest to succeed him expected to take about three months, Corbyn is set to continue leading the party in Parliament, the BBC reported.
The party has no deputy leader, with Tom Watson having stood down at the election.
Most party leaders have refrained from direct criticism of Corbyn’s leadership although many of the 59 Labour MPs who lost their seats in the worst electoral performance since 1935 have accused him of failing to take personal responsibility.