Europe Politics

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he will not lead the party in future elections

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Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech at the County Hotel on June 4, 2017 in Carlisle, England. C
Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn announced he will not be leading the U.K.'s opposition Labour party in future elections, following what he called a "disappointing night."

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party secured a majority in the House of Commons after winning their 326th seat, Sky News reported.

An earlier exit poll had projected that the Conservatives would win 368 seats in Parliament, a gain of 50 seats from the 2017 election. The U.K. pound quickly jumped more than 2% on the news.

Speaking on ITV on Friday, Corbyn said Labour will go through a reflection process and that he will lead the party during this period. However, he confirmed that he will not be leading the opposition party in any future election.

"This is obviously a very disappointing night for the Labour Party with the result that we've got," Corbyn said.

The veteran left-winger was a surprise pick for his party back in 2015 and had spent 32 years on the backbenches of the House of Commons. However, he rose in popularity with the general public and stopped former Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party from gaining an outright majority in the 2017 election.

But he has been accused of pushing his party too far to the left. The party's image has also been hit by claims of anti-Semitism, something that is being investigated by Britain's human rights watchdog after a surge in complaints since Corbyn took office.

On Brexit, Corbyn was criticized for not fully backing the remain campaign during the 2016 referendum. More recently, the party had pledged to renegotiate a Brexit deal with the EU and to then put this to a public vote. But this proved to be fodder for attacks from the rival Conservative Party. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's party claimed that Labour would "dither and delay for months and months" and then force the country though more referendums.

Sterling traded 2.4% higher against the dollar, at $1.3471, driven by exit poll results that predicted a Conservative win.