Corbyn Crushes Rival to Remain Leader of Britain’s Labour Party

LONDON (dpa/TNS) -

Jeremy Corbyn fought off a challenge to his leadership of Britain’s Labour Party, beating his sole rival, Owen Smith, in a party election.

Veteran left-winger Corbyn — the strong favorite — won with 313,000 votes to Smith’s 193,000, according to the Labour Party’s official Twitter feed.

“In our party, we have much more in common than that which divides us,” Corbyn said after the result was made public.

“Now is the time for all of us to focus every ounce of our energy on exposing and defeating the Tories,” he said, referring to the governing Conservative Party.

Corbyn was forced to join a contest to remain in power after a revolt against his leadership by most of Labour’s 220 members of Parliament.

Smith congratulated his rival “on being elected decisively as our leader.”

He and Corbyn fought an often bitter campaign over two months that many analysts expected to widen divisions in the center-left party.

During the election campaign, he rejected his critics’ accusation that Labour was incapable of winning a parliamentary majority under his leadership.

Many Labour lawmakers also accused him of weak campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union before the referendum in June. Voters chose to leave the EU.