Jeremy Corbyn has downplayed Labour’s local election results, describing them as not as strong as 2018.
The former Labour leader came out fighting after it was suggested ‘long Corbyn’ could be to blame for a poor show from Sir Keir Starmer’s party this time out.
But they lost Harrow and Croydon to the Tories, and Tower Hamlets to Lutfur Rahman, standing for his own ‘Aspire’ party.
Appearing on LBC with Camilla Tominey, Corbyn was asked whether he would have done better in the local elections on Thursday.
The MP for Islington said: “It’s not a question of who would’ve done better or not done better, the reality is that whilst Labour did gain control of three London boroughs, we also lost control of three London boroughs at the same time.
“And across the whole country we did not gain a net total of very many more seats at all. And indeed, the results are not as good as they were in 2018, when, that was then the best ever result in London at that time.
“There was a difference between London and the rest of the country – this time it’s an even more marked difference between London and the rest of the country.
“I’m pleased at the places we won back.”
Asked why Labour lost three London boroughs, Mr Corbyn said: “I think that the demotivation of some party activists by the process of suspending my membership of the PLP… the removal of some candidates right up til the time of nomination has a very dispiriting effect on party activists.
“The other, that is in some cases councils and administrations get well out of touch with the people they are there to represent.”