British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has lost a confidence vote among the party's lawmakers, the AP reports. The vote is non-binding, though, and Corbyn said Tuesday he won't step down as head of the main opposition party. He added that the vote has no constitutional legitimacy and said he will not "betray" his supporters by resigning. He has lost much of his support in the parliamentary ranks of the Labour Party after Britain voted to leave the European Union last week, but claims he still has support in the party's rank and file. British media reported 172 lawmakers voted against Corbyn while 40 voted in his favor. Many, including key members, have called for Corbyn to step down as party leader.
He has been criticized severely for his weak performance during the EU referendum campaign. The Labour Party backed staying in the bloc but many said Corbyn campaigned poorly. He may now face a formal leadership contest. Diane Abbott, the party's spokeswoman on health issues, said before the vote that a leadership contest is now inevitable to oust Corbyn, who offered lackluster support for Britain staying in the 28 nation bloc. Some 40 members of Corbyn's inner circle have resigned, accusing Corbyn of lacking the ability to lead the party. Corbyn's supporters say he will stand again for the leadership and will win again because of his strong standing with the party's grass roots.