EXCLUSIVE Labour frontbenchers in resignation threat in Jeremy Corbyn coup

Posted On: 
25th June 2016

Labour frontbenchers will threaten to quit next week in a bid to topple Jeremy Corbyn as party leader, PoliticsHome has learned.

Jeremy Corbyn is coming under increasing pressure from his own MPs
PA Images

The dramatic move will come as MPs prepare to debate a motion of no confidence in Mr Corbyn at a meeting on in the Commons on Monday evening - followed by a secret ballot the next day.

Several prominent members of Labour's 2015 intake, including shadow ministers, will support the move, which was tabled yesterday by Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey and has already been backed by several backbenchers.

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But it has emerged that some frontbench MPs - including members of the Shadow Cabinet - will threaten to resign unless Mr Corbyn agrees to go within days.

One senior MP told PoliticsHome: "It will be bloody and messy, but has to be done. The alternative is that we slowly bleed to death."

The Labour rebels fear that the new Tory leader will call a snap election - and that a Corbyn-led Labour party would suffer a "meltdown".

One backbencher said: "The groundswell now is that he's got to go. If we go into a general election in the autumn with him in charge we are screwed.

"What's got to happen now is that the Shadow Cabinet has got to have some balls and go to him and say 'you've got to go'."

Labour MP Frank Field told Radio 4's Today programme this morning: " He clearly isn't the right person to lead the party into an election because nobody thinks he will actually win."

At a meeting of the Shadow Cabinet yesterday, Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray broke ranks to urge Mr Corbyn to resign.

The Labour leader will try to regain the initiative in a speech at 11am today. Aides say that rumours he will announce he is quitting are "total nonsense".

On Channel 4 News last night, Mr Corbyn insisted he would not stand down.

He said: "No, I’m carrying on. I’m making the case for unity, I’m making the case of what Labour can offer to Britain, of decent housing for people, of good secure jobs for people, of trade with Europe and of course with other parts of the world. Because if we don’t get the trade issue right we’ve got a real problem in this country.”

On Margaret Hodge's motion of no confidence, he said: "Margaret is obviously entitled to do what she wishes to do. I would ask her to think for a moment - a Tory prime minister resigned, Britain’s voted to leave the European Union, there are massive political issues to be addressed. Is it really a good idea to start a big debate in the Labour party when I was elected less than a year ago with a very large mandate not from MPs?"