Carole James is staying on as leader of the BC New Democrats and has called an emergency meeting of her caucus to address growing dissent within the party.

She made the announcement at a press conference Thursday afternoon, when she told reporters that "enough is enough" and rebellious caucus members "will be held accountable for their behaviour."

The announcement came one day after the party's longest serving MLA, Jenny Kwan, called for James to relinquish power.

The Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant MLA said that James has had seven years to prove herself to British Columbians, but instead has made the party "irrelevant in the hearts and minds" of voters.

"The NDP owes it to British Columbians to present a clear direction and a progressive alternative vision to the BC Liberals' terrible record, but after seven years Carole James has yet to present that vision," Kwan said.

Another high-profile MLA, Adrian Dix, came out in support of the party leader in the wake of Kwan's attack.

"There's an obligation for us to have a coherent face. That doesn't mean we have to always agree all the time, but what that does mean is that we have to show we're serious," he told CTV News.

He said that he had talk to James about Kwan's remarks. "I just told her that I'm supportive of her. I absolutely believe she will do in this what she's always done, and that is the right thing for the province."

The party has been deeply divided about James's leadership in the weeks since Premier Gordon Campbell announced his resignation on Nov. 3.

Mario Canseco, spokesman for Angus Reid Public Opinion, told CTV News that the NDP has struggled to gain ground with voters since it lost its "whipping boy" in Campbell.

"They've become a little bit popular, but maybe most of it had to do with Gordon Campbell doing so poorly," Canseco said.

"Now that he's gone, it's time for them to rekindle with the B.C. population."

The New Democrats' internal strife offers a great opportunity for the Liberals' to regain some ground with British Columbians, he added.

"If they can have that show of unity, they will look a lot better than the NDP," he said.

And voters haven't been won over by James now that they know the deeply unpopular Campbell won't be up for re-election.

"Maybe Carole James could have beat Gordon Campbell because he was so unpopular at some moments, but now with a new [Liberal] leader, maybe they will get a much better shot," Canseco said.

A poll released Nov. 19 by Mustel Group Masket Research revealed that James's public approval rating had fallen significantly since Campbell's announcement.

In a telephone survey of 502 people conducted in the first half of November, only 33 per cent of respondents said they approved of James's performance, down from 42 per cent in September.

Last month, Kwan was one of three MLAs who stood behind caucus whip Katrine Conroy as she resigned her position. Conroy said she was leaving because she felt she no longer had the support of her leader or the NDP caucus.

Conroy's move followed the resignation of former caucus chairman Norm MacDonald, who left in response to James's decision to boot MLA Bob Simpson from caucus for criticizing her leadership.

On Nov. 20, delegates at the party's provincial council meeting rejected a plan to hold a leadership convention next year by a count of 97 to 18.

Related: Should the BC NDP hold a leadership race?

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mike Killeen