John McDonnell says he won't be part of new shadow cabinet following election rout

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell speaking at Uxbridge, where he retained his seat in the election this week

John McDonnell has announced he will not be part of Labour’s new shadow cabinet following the party’s heavy defeat in the general election.

The current shadow chancellor told BBC News on Saturday that the Labour leadership should ‘listen to the people and move on’.

Mr McDonnell said: “We will all go now. The new leader will come in place and appoint a shadow cabinet. I won’t be part of the shadow cabinet.

“I’ve done my bit. We need to move on at that stage with that new leader.”

Labour lost a total of 59 seats in Thursday's general election in the worst result for the party since 1935.

The shadow chancellor played a prominent role throughout the general election campaign, and had been touted by some to take over from Jeremy Corbyn.

On Thursday night, however, Mr McDonnell said he will not serve “either as a temporary or a permanent” leader of the Labour Party if Mr Corbyn were to resign.


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Back in October, he also said he “can’t see” how he or close ally Mr Corbyn could continue to lead the party if they failed to win power after the next general election.

On Saturday Mr McDonnell said Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner and shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon were part of a “new generation” that can expect to take frontline roles in the party’s leadership.

Sir Keir Starmer is the current favourite to take over as Labour leader at odds of 2/1 with some bookmakers.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in Islington, north London.

Mr Corbyn, however, has so far resisted calls to stand down immediately - vowing instead to remain in charge until a leadership election is held early next year.

Several of his own MPs have called on him to step aside following the defeat.

Ex-MPs Anna Turley and Helen Goodman, and last night former cabinet minister Jack Straw are the latest to attack the party’s leader after the disastrous poll.

Ex-shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman, another former Labour MP who lost her seat in Darlington, said: "The real question we have to ask ourselves now is do we want the Tories, do we want to give them another five years or another 15 years?

“Because if we get this wrong now as a party, this could very well be the end of the Labour movement."