From shadow cabinet reshuffle to 'Traingate' - how the leadership race unfolded


Feel like you've been a bit lost at times during the Labour leadership contest?

Well, don't worry, because we've handily got a run-down for you of all the key events that have happened since the start of the year, to catch you up before we find out if Jeremy Corbyn will remain as leader of the party.

Here goes...


Jonathan Reynolds, the former shadow rail minister outside Millbank in central London
Jonathan Reynolds, the former shadow rail minister outside Millbank in central London (Yui Mok/PA)

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.

June 23

EU referendum polling day.

June 24

european union flag and union jack
Britain votes to leave the European Union (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Britain votes to leave the EU, despite Mr 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 Mr Corbyn amid claims he was encouraging ministers to resign should Corbyn ignore a vote of no confidence.

June 27

owen smith
Owen Smith, Labour leadership candidate (Ben Birchall/PA)

By the end of the day 20 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.

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

 Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Chris Radburn/PA)

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 to the Islamic State group are attacked by the Chief Rabbi.

July 7

Corbyn rejects fresh calls to stand down, telling Labour MPs they are free to stand against him. Smith releases a statement calling on the party to give peace talks currently taking place between the leader's office, deputy leader Watson and the unions "every chance to succeed".

July 9

Corbyn pleads for the party to "come together". Deputy leader Watson pulls out of peace talks with the trade unions aimed at breaking the deadlock between Corbyn and his MPs because "there is no realistic prospect of reaching a compromise" while the leader remained determined to stay in place.

July 11

Angela Eagle
Angle Eagle (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Eagle insists she has not embarked on a political "suicide mission" as she launches her bid to topple Corbyn.

July 12

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

July 13

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

July 19

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London (Rick Findler/PA)

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

July 28

Corbyn wins 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 4

Corbyn and Smith go head-to-head in the first live hustings debate

August 9

Deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson
Deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson (Yui Mok/PA)

Watson says the party is at risk of being taken over by hard-left "Trotsky entryists"

August 11

Corbyn films a message while sat on the floor of a Virgin Trains carriage, complaining about the "ram-packed" service. The message will lead to a row later in the month.

August 12

The Court of Appeal rubber stamps Labour's decision to exclude more than 100,000 members who had joined within the past six months from voting in the leadership contest.

August 15

Corbyn with a bike
Jeremy Corbyn outside his home (John Stillwell/PA)

Corbyn's team says 285 constituency parties are backing him for leader, compared to just 53 parties for Smith.

August 17

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

August 23

The "Traingate" incident unfolds over the film of Corbyn on a commuter train service he dubbed "ram-packed", as operator Virgin Trains releases CCTV footage appearing to show there were seats he could have sat on.

August 24

owen smith
Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith arrives in Bristol in his new battle bus (Ben Birchall/PA)

Smith says he needs to be "slightly less colourful" with his choice of language after insisting he had not called Corbyn a "lunatic".

September 4

Reggae band UB40 endorses Corbyn for leadership at launch of new culture policy.

September 6

Labour MPs and peers back proposals to restore elections to select the shadow cabinet in a move viewed as a fresh blow to Corbyn's authority.

September 14

A 'Corbyn for PM' badge outside Labour Party HQ in Westminster (Yui Mok/PA)

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 17

Corbyn backs the return of elections to select Labour's shadow cabinet, but suggests members could be included in any votes.

September 21

Ballot closes.