John McDonnell swears loyalty to Jeremy Corbyn as he dismisses 'laughable' plot rumours
John McDonnell has rubbished reports his allies are sounding out top Labour figures about replacing Jeremy Corbyn as leader - branding them "laughable".
It was reported at the weekend that figures close to the Shadow Chancellor had been tapping up fellow frontbenchers and trade union figures about the possibility of moving against Mr Corbyn.
But Mr McDonnell took to Twitter to pour cold water on the claims, saying: "Every year media run the same laughable story of a McDonnell coup against Jeremy.
"One year they said I was plotting coup & at same time holding Jeremy hostage forcing him not to resign.
"Jeremy & I for 40 years have been as one and always will be. Get used to solidarity in action."
The Sunday Times quoted sources close to the Shadow Chancellor who said he had become frustrated with the party's handling of accusations of anti-Semitism, believing the row overshadowed a string of policy announcements lined up for the summer.
A source told the Sunday Times: "John McDonnell is a pragmatist and is hell-bent on getting Labour back into power. He doesn’t want anything to get in the way of that.
"While he is not actively agitating against the Labour leader, there are people around him who are starting to raise questions about the future of the leadership and whether some of the shine is beginning to fall off Corbyn.”
The Shadow Chancellor has been increasingly prominent in recent weeks, unveiling a raft of policy pledges designed to reaffirm Labour's commitment to workers' rights.