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Five more Labour MPs quit Jeremy Corbyn's top team demanding leadership change

The party leader has faced a wave of resignations since the weekend

Jon Stone
Monday 27 June 2016 08:19 BST
Jeremy Corbyn (file)
Jeremy Corbyn (file) (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Labour frontbenchers and aides have continued to quit the party on Monday, with a string of MPs rounding on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Mr Corbyn lost 12 members of his shadow cabinet on Sunday and further resignations have already taken place on Monday ahead of a crucial meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party this evening.

Shadow foreign minister Diana Johnson, shadow civil society minister Anna Turley and shadow defence minister Toby Perkins all resigned first thing this morning as the party crisis continued.

They were followed by Stephen Kinnock, who served as a parliamentary private secretary on the business team, and Chris Matheson, a PPS on the shadow justice team.

Mr Corbyn has vowed to refresh his shadow cabinet within 24 hours. The Labour leader may not be able to fully populate a front bench as so many MPs have declined to serve under him, however.

Nevertheless he has said he will fight on and challenged the party rebels to put up a candidate to stand against him.

Previous polls suggest Mr Corbyn has strong support amongst Labour members, who would have to be convinced of his departure in any ensuing leadership contest.

The plotters however point to polls suggesting that Labour voters at large – a wider category – have lost faith in his leadership.

Former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, who resigned on Sunday, insisted the resignations were not a "planned coup" against Mr Corbyn but instead a reaction to the "seismic" events which have shaken Westminster in recent days - the EU referendum result and David Cameron's resignation.

Ms Powell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she hoped Mr Corbyn would "not drag this out any longer than necessary".

Mr Corbyn was elected by a landslide during a Labour leadership contest that took place less than a year ago.

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