Corbyn's Closest Ally Warns Labour Leader Must Listen to Critics

(Bloomberg) -- The Labour leadership must commit to a “mammoth, massive listening exercise” to keep the party together, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said, a day after seven members of Parliament quit citing concerns ranging from Brexit to a row over anti-Semitism and bullying.

“If there’s issues that we have to address, we will address them,” McDonnell, a longstanding ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said in an interview broadcast on several U.K. networks. “If it’s about the style of the leadership, we will address that. If it’s about policy, we will listen to that as well.”

McDonnell agreed with Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who warned on Monday that more MPs could resign over Corbyn’s style.

Hours later, Corbyn told an audience of executives and journalists in London that he “regrets” the departures, though he sounded less than conciliatory when he pointed out that the politicians had stood -- and won -- on his manifesto at the 2017 general election.

Still, he said he wants to unite Labour.

“Leading the party means you’ve got to take people with you and I’m determined to do that,” Corbyn said at the annual conference of the MakeUK manufacturing lobby group.

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