Updated: Sunday, 29th March 2020 @ 7:27am

'Absolutely abhorrent’: Thousands hit Manchester rally to support under-fire Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

'Absolutely abhorrent’: Thousands hit Manchester rally to support under-fire Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

| By Liam Soutar

Campaigners descended on Manchester yesterday to support Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of Labour’s post-Brexit crisis, describing the attempted leadership coup as ‘absolutely abhorrent’.

Thousands of people attended the ‘Keep Corbyn’ rally in Piccadilly Gardens, organised by Momentum Manchester, in response to the Labour leader facing a no-confidence motion which was signed by 172 members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Hannah McCarthy, 23, Momentum member and Campaigns officer at University of Manchester Students’ Union, said it was ridiculous that Corbyn’s 60% mandate was being completely ignored by MPs as a reaction to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

“It’s creating this tension and this antagonism whereby people who were elected to represent us are acting outside the interest of the party membership, and actually going against it,” she said.

“It shows no respect for party democracy. It shows no respect for the beliefs and wishes of the party membership, who have a very different vision for what we want the party to be.”

The 23-year-old’s comments were echoed by Pete Keenlyside, a veteran CWU activist who had also addressed the crowd in front a banner declaring ‘Unity is Strength’.

Mr Keenlyside said it was important to see Corbyn as leader, owing to his support for trade unions.

“Our union knows full well that if Jeremy Corbyn can be sidelined, the next group will be us (trade unions).”

He was also pleased with the huge turnout, despite a lack of high profile speakers, for the rally which was organised with just three-days’ notice.

“It’s purely local speakers. There’s no Jeremy Corbyn, there are no big stars. Just ordinary people speaking.”

“3,000 people have come on a pretty wet day to the middle of Manchester, to support a political cause, purely for the reason that they support it.

“That’s brilliant. That’s different politics.”

One attendee, Jenny, 29, said the prospect of a Labour coup would have adverse affects on British politics.

“It will get rid of the left Labour. I feel that it will be centre politics for everyone.

“Jeremy’s the only man who can stick by his convictions, and hopefully win for the socialists. We want our socialism back.”