LONDON-Jeremy Corbyn kept the helm of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, winning re-election as party leader at its special conference in Liverpool on Saturday.
Corbyn won with a comfortable 61.8 percent of the 506,438 ballots cast, or 313,209 votes, up from 59.5 percent in the 2015 leadership election. A total of 654,006 party members were eligible to vote.
Speaking after his victory, Corbyn thanked the volunteers who worked on his campaign, as well as Owen Smith, his sole challenger, saying, “We are part of the same Labour family.”
Corbyn said he would work to make Labour “the engine of progress” that can “win power to deliver real change” to the country.
“Now is the time for all of us to focus every ounce of our energy on exposing and defeating the Tories and the damage they are doing to our country,” he added.
“[Prime Minister] Theresa May’s government isn’t a new government. It is David Cameron’s government with a new hard-right edge repackaged with progressive slogans.”
The Labour leadership election was triggered by the vote to leave the European Union in June, when Corbyn was accused of running a lackluster campaign to remain in the 28-country bloc.
After the Brexit referendum, Corbyn and his rival Owen Smith spent the summer canvassing more than half a million eligible voters in the leadership contest. Voting concluded on Wednesday.
Corbyn, a veteran of Labour’s left wing, has been criticized by centrist figures in the party who believe his policies do not appeal to the wider British electorate.