Jeremy Corbyn has said he is very sad at the election result and suggested he will step down in the early part of next year, but insisted he has pride in the manifesto.
The Labour leader gave a short statement in which he did not apologise to the 60 Labour MPs who lost their seats or acknowledge any responsibility for the party suffering its worst result since 1935.
I have pride in our manifesto that we put forward and all our policies we put forward that actually had huge public support on issues of universal credit, the green industrial revolution and investment for the future, he said.
But this election was taken over ultimately by Brexit and we as a party represent people who vote remain and leave, my whole strategy was to reach out beyond the Brexit divide to try to bring people together.
On the night, Corbyn gave a speech at his count in Islington North saying he would not lead the party into the next election but gave no specific timetable for his departure.
There is now likely to be pressure on the Labour leader to set out a specific plan for stepping down.
When asked about his timetable to leave as leader, Corbyn said: The national executive will have to meet, of course, in the very near future and it is up to them. It will be in the early part of next year.
Corbyn said he was obviously very sad at the result we’ve achieved and very sad for colleagues who have lost their seats in the election and very sad for many people in this country who will now have a government that is continuing policies of austerity, and many of the poorest communities will suffer very badly from the economic strategy that I suspect the prime minister will take forward.
Some Labour MPs want Corbyn to step down sooner than the spring, arguing an interim leader should take over.
Margaret Hodge, the Barking MP, tweeted her dissatisfaction with the timetable. Corbyn talking about a period of reflection. I’ve reflected. You failed. Please stand down, she said, while also arguing that Labour had become the nasty party.
Lucy Powell, the MP for Manchester Central, did not demand an immediate resignation, but said she thought we need to hear a bit more contrition and humility, not just from Jeremy, but from across the party as well.
We all have a responsibility for what is a seismic and formidable defeat that we have suffered. And we have to understand that, and listen to what the voters have said to us, she said. I don’t think it is sufficient for us to simply put it down to one issue or another. It’s a whole range of issues, and we need to be really humble in defeat and take our full responsibility.
Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, called on Corbyn to stand down quickly calling the election result nothing short of a catastrophe for the Labour party, for London and for the United Kingdom.
For the fourth general election in a row the Labour party has failed to put forward a compelling case to the British people. … If we are truly honest with ourselves, we knew in our hearts that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was deeply unpopular with the British people and that we were extremely unlikely to form a Labour government last night.
Labour’s shocking and repeated failure to tackle anti-semitism, and our inability to put forward a credible and believable set of priorities for governing have made a major contribution.
Corbyn’s allies in the shadow cabinet and beyond blamed the poor result on the dominance of Brexit in the campaign.