Jeremy Corbyn campaign blames coup plotters for Labour poll slump
Jeremy Corbyn's official leadership campaign has blamed Labour MPs who tried to oust him "at a time of national crisis" for the party's dramatic poll slump.
Two surveys in the past 24 hours have given the Conservatives double-digit leads over Labour.
A YouGov poll for The Times also suggested that 2.7 million voters who backed Labour at last year's general election would now vote for the Tories.
But the 'Jeremy For Labour' campaign has today claimed that the parties were "neck-and-neck" in the polls before the coup began.
More than 60 Labour frontbenchers resigned in the wake of the EU referendum in a bid to force Mr Corbyn from office.
He is now facing a leadership challenge from former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith.
Responding to the grim poll numbers, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn's leadership campaign said: "Before the attempts began to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader, Labour and the Tories were neck-and-neck in the polls.
"The actions of a few, at a time of national crisis, have damaged the party in the short term.
"However, if Labour party members re-elect Jeremy, Labour will be in a position to unite and resume our electoral advance. Labour's enormous membership, the biggest for any centre-left party in Europe, will take our message of economic renewal and social justice into their communities and workplaces to re-engage with millions of voters who have turned away from Labour in the past 15 years."
Mr Corbyn and Mr Smith will go head-to-head in their first hustings of the leadership campaign next week, The result of the election will be announced on 24 September.
Pollsters ICM - who put the Tories 16 points ahead on Monday - had the parties level-pegging on 31% each in March.
Another poll by the same firm immediately after the EU referendum on 23 June put the Conservative four points ahead.