LONDON, June 28 (UPI) — Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s Labor Party leader, was dealt an overwhelming no-confidence vote by Parliament members Tuesday in the wake of the country’s decision last week to leave the European Union.
Corbyn vowed to remain even though 172 members voted against him, compared with 40 in support, four spoiled ballots and 13 not voting.
“I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60 percent of Labor members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy,” he said.
“We are a democratic party, with a clear constitution. Our people need Labor Party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite behind my leadership at a critical time for our country.”
The vote was non-biding as 51 Labor members would need to approve a new election.
Corbyn’s detractors say he mounted a lackluster campaign to keep Britain in the EU.
Corbyn drew around 1,000 backers Monday in the central square in Westminster, the Parliament’s home.
“Don’t let the media divide us. Don’t let those people who wish us ill divide us,” Corbyn told his cheering backers. “Stay together, strong and united, for the kind of world we want to live in.”
Corbyn took over the party nine months ago.
Through Monday, 17 shadow ministers have departed.
Meanwhile, the Conservative Party is set to select new prime minister to replace David Cameron, who announced Friday he will depart.
Conservatives have said they want a new leader in place by Sept. 9. Tory members of Parliament will first cut the field of candidates to two and then the party’s rank and file choose a winner.