Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the party’s MPs to “think again” after reports that some are planning to take legal action over the party name and assets if Owen Smith loses his bid to oust the leader.
Mr Corbyn said there was “no alternative… we are Labour”, and the party should unite to fight the Tories.
Challenger Owen Smith said Labour was “on the edge of the precipice”.
One source said “leading moderates” in the party were planning to elect their own leader and shadow cabinet if Mr Corbyn wins the current leadership contest, and possibly launch a legal challenge for Labour’s name.
Asked about the reports, Mr Corbyn, who was holding rallies in Hull and Leeds on Saturday, said: “Sorry, this is nonsense, whoever is saying my leadership is leading to a break-up of the party?”Since I became leader membership has doubled, activity has increased.”
Mr Corbyn urged MPs to “work with the elected leadership of the party to bring about the defeat of the Tories.If people want to split the Labour party then they’re splitting something that was the creation of pioneers to bring about social justice in Britain – with a party that brought the National Health Service, that brought human rights, that brought the Equalities Act of Britain.Surely there are some achievements we can all be proud of – and the next achievements are to defeat the politics of austerity and cuts.”