‘Go, NOW’: Pressure mounts as Labour MP gives Corbyn ‘shape up or ship out’ ultimatum over mounting anti-Semitism and Brexit rows in party
- Corbyn, 69, was told by Neil Coyle MP, 40, to stand down as leader of the party
- Bermondsey MP tore into the leader over handling of anti-Semitism and Brexit
- The challenge came in the wake of the shock defection of eight Labour MPs
Jeremy Corbyn faced an open ‘shape up or ship out’ challenge from one of his own MPs over the mounting anti-Semitism and Brexit rows engulfing Labour.
Neil Coyle confronted the Labour leader and bluntly told him to consider standing aside for someone capable of resolving the crisis.
The challenge came amid angry scenes at last week’s private meeting of the party’s parliamentary committee, held in the wake of the shock defection of eight Labour MPs to a new Independent Group.
Jeremy Corbyn faced an open ‘shape up or ship out’ challenge from one of his own MPs over the mounting anti-Semitism and Brexit rows engulfing Labour
Bermondsey MP Mr Coyle tore into the leader over his handling of anti-Semitism allegations and the lack of clarity on Labour’s policy on Brexit.
According to sources, Mr Coyle demanded to know why the party’s conference resolution to be ready to press for a second referendum was not being honoured by the leadership.
He said: ‘Jeremy, if you’re not prepared to deliver on tackling anti-Semitism, implementing the party’s policy on Europe and involving members far more drawing up policy, I’m afraid you should go and let someone else come in – someone who can both deliver on what you promised and prepare our party for an Election.’
Sources say Mr Corbyn was taken aback by the MP’s challenge but failed to offer any direct response.
Bermondsey MP Mr Coyle tore into the leader over his handling of anti-Semitism allegations and the lack of clarity on Labour’s policy on Brexit
‘He just muttered something – he didn’t address what Neil was saying,’ said one.
Mr Coyle was unavailable for comment last night. But the backbench MP is understood to be furious that the Labour leader and his inner circle were refusing to throw their weight behind a second poll on Britain’s EU membership.
Mr Coyle has been an outspoken critic of Mr Corbyn in the past, including ridiculing him for claiming that the party had won the 2017 General Election.
At Christmas in 2016, with Labour sliding in the opinion polls he even sent Mr Corbyn a card saying: ‘I hope you have a better Christmas than Labour’s poll ratings.’
The row emerged amid calls for defecting MPs to be ‘punished’ for deserting the party.
The Mail on Sunday understands that could include removing the ‘traitors’ from Labour-sponsored positions on coveted international groups or forcing them to give up plush Commons offices for smaller rooms on the parliamentary estate.
Labour Whips are thought to be keen to ‘eject’ Independent Group rebel leaders Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie from their sought-after shared office in the modern Portcullis House building.
Labour Whips are thought to be keen to ‘eject’ Independent Group rebel leaders Chuka Umunna (pictured back row, second from right) and Chris Leslie (back row, far left) from their sought-after shared office in the modern Portcullis House building
A source said: ‘There’s no reason why they should keep hold of a very nice office on a Labour floor.
‘Offices like that were allocated to them as Labour MPs. Surely we can find them a tiny, windowless basement in another part of the estate to sulk in.’
Labour insiders have also suggested that defector Mike Gapes, a former chairman of the Commons’ foreign affairs committee, should be stripped of membership of the Nato Parliamentary Assembly.
Last night Mr Corbyn’s office declined to comment on Mr Coyle’s suggestion that he should quit
But last night, one Labour rebel said: ‘It would petty beyond belief to start ejecting colleagues from their offices or boot them off overseas trips.’
Last night Mr Corbyn’s office declined to comment on Mr Coyle’s suggestion that he should quit.
Allies of the Labour leader said: ‘As it was a private meeting, it’s not appropriate for him to comment.’