• Labour MP says he will not stand for re-election minutes after poll is announced
  • Jeremy Corbyn says he welcomes the election, meaning it should go ahead
  • Labour is currently 20 points behind the Tories according to latest polls
  • Labour leader was attacked on live television by GMB host Piers Morgan today 

Richard Spillett

and
Tim Sculthorpe For Mailonline

Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Tom Blenkinsop announced he would not be standing for re-election

Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Tom Blenkinsop announced he would not be standing for re-election

Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Tom Blenkinsop announced he would not be standing for re-election

Jeremy Corbyn faced chaos today as one of his MPs became the first to announce he would not be standing at the election.

Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Tom Blenkinsop announced he would not be standing for re-election. 

He tweeted a link to what is believed to be a statement on his personal website, but the site has crashed due to heavy traffic. 

Two surveys in recent days have shown the Tories more than 20 points ahead of Labour, revealing the record breaking hole in to which leader Mr Corbyn has dragged his party. 

Mr Corbyn said he welcomed the election, meaning the government’s call for the election will be backed by Parliament tomorrow.

In a statement, he said: ‘I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.

‘Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.

‘In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.’ 

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted making 'too many' mistakes to mention as he was lashed on live TV for dragging Labour to destruction with his unpopularity

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted making 'too many' mistakes to mention as he was lashed on live TV for dragging Labour to destruction with his unpopularity

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted making ‘too many’ mistakes to mention as he was lashed on live TV for dragging Labour to destruction with his unpopularity

Two surveys in recent days have shown the Tories more than 20 points ahead of Labour, revealing the record breaking hole in to which Mr Corbyn has dragged his party

Two surveys in recent days have shown the Tories more than 20 points ahead of Labour, revealing the record breaking hole in to which Mr Corbyn has dragged his party

Two surveys in recent days have shown the Tories more than 20 points ahead of Labour, revealing the record breaking hole in to which Mr Corbyn has dragged his party

Speaking earlier this morning, Mr Corbyn insisted his party’s position would improve, saying: ‘I think the issue will get out there more and more, people will begin to understand that we don’t have to go through these levels of austerity in Britain, we don’t have to have these levels of inequality in Britain.

‘I think people will begin to see that actually what we are saying makes a lot of credible sense.’

Mr Corbyn appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, announcing a new carers’ allowance and insisted exposure for his policies would turn around his dire standing in the polls.

As the clash with Morgan became more heated, Mr Corbyn demanded: ‘Why don’t you ask me questions about policy, why are you only asking questions about polling and me?’

GMB host Piers Morgan, centre, branded the Mr Corbyn 'oblivious to reality' after the tetchy clash on the ITV sofa 

GMB host Piers Morgan, centre, branded the Mr Corbyn 'oblivious to reality' after the tetchy clash on the ITV sofa 

GMB host Piers Morgan, centre, branded the Mr Corbyn ‘oblivious to reality’ after the tetchy clash on the ITV sofa 

The Arsenal fan dismissed as ‘nonsense’ an ‘absurd’ comparison between him and beleaguered Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Morgan, also an Arsenal fan, said Wenger refused to acknowledge mistakes, like Mr Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn’s full response to today’s election announcement

‘I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.

‘Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.

‘In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.’ 

The Labour leader said: ‘I’m not going to go into any big public self analysis. What I will say is of course I reflect on issues, I reflect on decisions we’ve made.’

He added: ‘I reflect on all of this, all the time. I want the party to be united around these policies. I think you will find the vast majority of Labour members would support these policies.

‘Labour voters would support these policies and I think the vast majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party.’

Pressed to give one mistake he had made, Mr Corbyn joked: ‘I can’t give you a mistake this morning. There are too many.’

After the interview Morgan said on Twitter: ‘I can’t help liking @jeremycorbyn. Like Wenger, a decent principled man – but seems oblivious to reality.’

Under Labour’s plans, Conservative cuts to inheritance tax would be scrapped to pay for the 17% hike in carer’s allowance.

Weekly payments would rise from £62.70 a week to £73.10, which would bring the rate into line with jobseeker’s allowance.

Mr Corbyn’s policy drive comes as recent polling on who would be the best prime minister saw him slump to 14 per cent among all voters and also follows criticism by Labour MP Neil Coyle, who said a complaint made about him by the Islington North MP’s office was ‘absurd’.  

The Labour leader was compared to beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today 

The Labour leader was compared to beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today 

The Labour leader was compared to beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today 

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