Angela Eagle launches Labour leadership challenge to Corbyn

Angela Eagle launched her bid to lead the main opposition party by challenging embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

London: British lawmaker Angela Eagle on Monday launched her bid to lead the main opposition party by challenging embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is facing a leadership challenge following post-Brexit fallout.

Eagle, 55, who had resigned as business secretary from his shadow cabinet last month, had revealed over the weekend that she would be making her formal bid for leadership after Corbyn lost support of a majority of his party MPs.

"These are dark times for Labour. And these are dangerous times for our country. I would not do this if I did not think I could be a good prime minister for Britain," Eagle said.

Highlighting her credentials without any baggage of past Labour party leaders, she added: "I'm not a Blairite. I'm not a Brownite. I'm not a Corbynista. I am my own woman.

A strong Labour woman. I am a person who brings people together, I don't drive them apart. I will unite. I will not divide. I can bring our party together again."

Eagle's leadership bid comes after as many as 172 Labour MPs out of a total of 230 MPs indicated that they had no confidence in Corbyn in a vote of the Parliamentary Labour Party last month.

Corbyn, who is accused of lukewarm campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU, has said he would not "betray" the party members who elected him last year by standing down.

Labour's ruling body, the National Executive Committee, is expected to decide this week if Corbyn needs the backing from 51 MPs and MEPs to stand in a new leadership contest.

The 33-member body is made up of representatives of the parliamentary party, trade unions, MEPs, constituency groups, socialist societies and others.

Corbyn's backers say that as leader, he has an automatic right to stand, especially as he won 59 per cent of the membership vote last September.

But his opponents say the document's wording means Corbyn will also require the support of MPs and MEPs to stand - which, given his loss of the no confidence vote last month by Labour MPs, means he is unlikely to be on the ballot.

Corbyn has suggested he would be willing to challenge the executive's decision in court if it went against him.