He said: “I do caution against thinking our demise is imminent. We still did secure 32 per cent of the…”
Mr McDonald was then interrupted as Ms Burley burst into laughter. She told him: “Get real.”
He then replied: “I’d ask you to get real, Kay. We won 32 per cent of the vote, it’s not insignificant.”
But he then conceded: “The Tories gained 43 per cent, so we’re a long, long way off. We’ve got an awful lot of work to do, this is a really serious moment for the Labour Party and I don’t underestimate it one jot.”
Later in the interview, shadow transport secretary Mr McDonald also complained of the treatment Mr Corbyn received during the election campaign.
“I have never ever experienced a general election where a good and decent, principled man has been so vilified and demonised in the way that Jeremy was.”
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His comments on Sky News were a stark contrast to those of leadership candidate Clive Lewis, who yesterday said Labour is facing an “existential crisis” following the election disaster overseen by Mr Corbyn.
A date for the leadership contest has not been set. Only Mr Lewis and Emily Thornberry have so far confirmed they will stand.