UK Labour Party re-elects Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as Labour leader, defeating his challenger Owen Smith.

He won 61.8% of the vote, a larger margin of victory than last year.

He vowed to bring Labour back together, saying ‘‘we have much more in common than divides us”, insisting the party could win the next election as the ‘‘engine of progress” in the country.

More than half a million party members, trade unionists and registered supporters voted in the contest.

In a result announced on the eve of Labour’s party conference in Liverpool, Mr. Corbyn won 313,209 votes, compared with Mr Smith’s 193,229.

Mr Corbyn said he was ‘‘honoured” to have been elected in a contest that followed months of tension with many Labour MPs and urged people to ‘‘respect the democratic choice that has been made”.

Addressing supporters, Mr Corbyn said he and his opponents were part of the ‘‘same Labour family” and everyone needed to focus their energy ‘‘on exposing and defeating the Tories”.

‘‘We have much more in common than divides us,” he pointed out. ‘‘Let us wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work that we have to do as a party,” he explained.

New beginning
The Labour leader had earlier offered to “wipe the slate clean” and reach out to his opponents if he is re-elected.

There has been speculation that a number of Labour MPs who resigned from Mr. Corbyn’s cabinet in June over the probable return of his leadership in an attempt to heal the sharp divisions over the party’s future direction.

Amid signs of the continuing tensions in the party, pressure group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has made a formal complaint to the party about a video posted on Mr Corbyn’s campaign website, while 200 members of the party, including three councillors in Bristol, have been suspended.

The two-month campaign has aroused strong passions on both sides and led to legal disputes over the rules and who is entitled to vote.

The turnout for the election is expected to be higher than last year, with about 550,000 party members, trade union members and registered supporters eligible to take part.

Mr. Corbyn, a veteran left-wing MP who went from rank outsider to be elected leader with 59.5% of the vote last year, is the strong favourite to win.

He has stressed his commitment to far-reaching economic and political change and insisted he wants to lead Labour back into power and is not content with opposition.

In a video posted on twitter on Friday night, Mr Corbyn said the party had ‘‘a duty to unite, cherish and build our movement” whatever the result of the leadership poll.

He described the campaign as ‘‘robust and at times difficult” but said it had been ‘‘overwhelmingly respectful in tone.”

Mr Corbyn also said his campaign team had created new networks that would be a ‘‘pivotal part” of Labour’s general election campaign, which he said would be the party’s “biggest, best and most visible”.