Blow for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour frontbencher quits to join rebellion against second Brexit referendum
A Labour frontbencher quit her job last night to join a major rebellion against the party's backing for a second Brexit referendum.
Melanie Onn resigned as a shadow housing minister after Labour ordered its MPs to vote in favour of a motion calling for any Brexit deal passed by the Commons to be put to a public vote.
Jeremy Corbyn suffered further embarrassment when three Shadow Cabinet members - Jon Trickett, Ian Lavery and Andrew Gwynne - abstained.
A number of other shadow ministers also failed to take part in the vote, including Gloria De Piero, Jim McMahon, Tracy Brabin and Jo Platt.
However, the rebels are not expected to be disciplined by Labour whips.
In all, 27 Labour MPs defied their leader to vote against the motion, which was moved by party grandee Margaret Beckett and supported by backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, while a further 18 abstained.
Mr Corbyn wrote to his MPs on Wednesday afternoon telling them his first priority was to deliver the Labour Brexit plan - after frntbenchers raised their concerns to him in person.
He urged them to support the amendment to “keep the option of a public vote on the table”.
He said it was worth backing the bid “even where it can be read as going beyond our policy” in order to “stop a disastrous no deal or May’s unacceptable deal”.
Seven other Brexit options were put to the Commons last night as part of the so-called ‘indicative votes’ process - but every single one was rejected.
It is expected that Theresa May will bring her Brexit deal back to the House in the coming days for a third attempt at winning support from MPs.
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