Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn's rivals must unite behind one candidate to stop left-winger, says Labour MP

John Mann calls for Labour MPs to nominate one of the three candidates to go head-to-head against Jeremy Corbyn to 'put him under proper scrutiny'

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Jeremy Corbyn’s three rivals in the race to be Labour leadership should unite behind one candidate in an effort to stop the radical left-winger from winning the election, a Labour MP has said.

John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said Labour MPs should nominate which one of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall should take on Mr Corbyn in a head-to-head.

Only then would Mr Corbyn be “put under some proper scrutiny,” Mr Mann said. He is personally backing Ms Cooper, who has stepped up her attack on Mr Corbyn, warning that he would condemn Labour to the wilderness of opposition for more than 10 years.

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John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw

Mr Mann said that once the party had decided which of the three candidates should remain in the contest, they should take on Mr Corbyn live on TV so the party could have an "actual debate" about its future.

It is the latest suggestion from a Labour MP on how to stop Mr Corbyn from becoming Labour leader. Yesterday Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, said Labour MPs will work to overthrow him “from day one” if he succeeds in winning the leadership contest.

Yesterday the Labour party announced it had received an astonishing 166,753 sign-ups to vote in its leadership election in the final 24-hours alone. It took the total number registered to vote in the contest to 610,753, although growing evidence of entryism from members of rival parties could see that number fall.

The party has already barred 1,200 supporters of rival parties, including more than 200 Green party candidates from the 2015 election. It also barred 37 supporters of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition; 13 Tories, seven Ukip supporters and a former Liberal Democrat MEP.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk said Labour MPs would work to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn 'from day one' if he is elected leader

Mr Mann, speaking on BBC 2's Newsnight, said: "It needs to be a head-to-head now. Jeremy Corbyn is framing the debate. It is him verses the rest. What there needs to be is the rest needs to have one candidate.

"The three of them can agree, let the MPs re-nominate informally. Whoever gets the most nominations amongst those three should stand as the candidate.

"Let's have a proper head-to-head, including a televised debate, which would have a huge amount of interest and Jeremy Corbyn can be put under some proper scrutiny in an actual debate."

In the strongest attack on Mr Corbyn from anyone inside the Labour party, Tony Blair warned in an article today that he would lead the party to "annihilation".

Writing in the Guardian, the former Prime Minister wrote: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the left, right or centre of the party, whether you used to support me or hate me.

“The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below.”