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UK Labour leader Corbyn: I'm sorry for election defeat

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn apologized Sunday for this party's crushing defeat in the British general election but defended his campaign, which failed to resonate with the party’s working-class base, as “one of hope rather than fear.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons in Thursday’s landslide election. Labour took 203 seats, its worst total since 1935.

“I’m sorry that we came up short and I take my responsibility for it,” Corbyn wrote in a letter published in the left-leaning Sunday Mirror newspaper.

FILE - In this Thursday, May 23, 2019 file photo Jeremy Corbyn leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party gestures after voting in the European Elections in London. (AP PhotoKirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Corbyn, who has faced fierce criticism from within his own party in the aftermath of the electoral carnage, has said he will step down as Labour leader after a “period of reflection.” The process of choosing a replacement will begin early next year, but some have called for Corbyn's immediate resignation.

“I remain proud of the campaign we fought. I’m proud that no matter how low our opponents went, we refused to join them in the gutter,” Corbyn wrote. “And I’m proud that our message was one of hope, rather than fear.”

Corbyn's policies failed to energize voters weary of more than three years of political wrangling over Britain's divorce from the European Union. Johnson's campaign, meanwhile, revolved around three words: His pledge to “get Brexit done.”

FILE - In this Thursday, March 21, 2019 file photo British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, and Keir Starmer, Labour Shadow Brexit secretary, leave EU headquarters prior to an EU summit in Brussels. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein, File)

Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on Jan. 31.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, gestures as he speaks to supporters on a visit to meet newly elected Conservative party MP for Sedgefield, Paul Howell, at Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham, north east England, Saturday Dec. 14, 2019, following his Conservative party's general election victory. Johnson called on Britons to put years of bitter divisions over the country's EU membership behind them as he vowed to use his resounding election victory to finally deliver Brexit. (Lindsey ParnabyPool via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks to supporters on a visit to meet newly elected Conservative party MP for Sedgefield, Paul Howell, at Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham, north east England, Saturday Dec. 14, 2019, following his Conservative party's general election victory. Johnson called on Britons to put years of bitter divisions over the country's EU membership behind them as he vowed to use his resounding election victory to finally deliver Brexit. (Lindsey ParnabyPool via AP)