Everything you need to know about Jeremy Corbyn's road to retaining the Labour leadership


Reshuffles, widespread resignations and an overwhelming vote of no confidence - and yet months later Jeremy Corbyn is still the official leader of the Labour Party.

After former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith announced that he would mount a formal challenge to his leadership in July, some thought that Corbyn's resolute and sometimes confounding rule might come to a logical conclusion this September, but party members heard shortly before lunch on Saturday that he had retained the role in rousing fashion with 61.8% of the vote.

(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

So what steps led to the challenge, and what lies behind Corbyn's continuing mandate, even where so many had predicted its collapse long ago? Here's a round-up of his road to re-election.

January 7

Corbyn's first minor cabinet reshuffle prompts three shadow ministers - Kevan Jones, Jonathan Reynolds and Stephen Doughty - to quit of their own accord.

June 10

Corbyn tells Channel 4´s The Last Leg he is about "seven or seven and a half out of 10´´ in terms of enthusiasm about staying in the European Union.

(Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

June 24

Britain votes to leave the EU, despite Corbyn and Labour campaigning to remain.

June 25

Corbyn faces accusations of failing to campaign hard enough during the EU referendum. He says he will stand again if a Labour leadership contest is held and vows to fight for his job. He rejects calls for a second referendum.


June 26

Hilary Benn is sacked from the shadow cabinet by Corbyn amid claims he was encouraging ministers to resign should Corbyn ignore a vote of no confidence.

June 27

By the end of the day 20 members of Labour's shadow cabinet had either resigned or been sacked, including Owen Smith. Just seven shadow cabinet members remained. A further 27 shadow ministers also quit.

(Laura Dale/PA)

June 28

Labour MPs overwhelmingly pass a vote of no confidence in Corbyn, by 172 votes to 40. Corbyn says he will not resign.

June 29

Deputy leader Tom Watson fails to convince Corbyn to stand down. At Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, David Cameron tells Corbyn: "For heaven's sake man, go." Reports emerge Angela Eagle will challenge Corbyn.

June 30

At the launch of a report into allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour ranks, Corbyn's troubles deepen after MP Ruth Smeeth accuses him of creating a party that is "not a safe space for British Jews" and his own comments apparently comparing Israel with Islamic State are attacked by the Chief Rabbi.

July 12

Labour's national executive committee rules that Jeremy Corbyn should automatically appear on the leadership ballot.


July 13

Former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith announces leadership challenge to Corbyn.

July 19

Angela Eagle steps aside from the leadership contest, making it a two-horse race between Corbyn and Smith.

(Jonathan Brady/PA)

July 28

Corbyn wins a court battle which ensures he will definitely be on the ballot paper, without having to secure support from MPs. This decision had been challenged by Labour donor Michael Foster.

August 17

Smith suggests peace talks could be held with Islamic State during a debate on the BBC.

(Chris Radburn/PA)

September 14

Corbyn's team issues a roll call of Labour MPs it claims have abused the leader and his allies as it attacks Smith for running a negative campaign.

September 21

Ballot closes.

September 24

Jeremy Corbyn retains the Labour leadership with 68.1% of the vote (313,209), against Smith's 38.2% (193,229).

(PA Graphics/PA)

Corbyn's supporters will be delighted with their leader's increased mandate, whereas other party members look on in dismay.

However you feel about his re-election, one thing is clear: Jeremy Corbyn has defied all the odds and held on. Many, on both sides of the argument, are now calling for an end to party squabbling so that he can lead.