Labour hit by 'civil war' claims amid rows over anti-Semitism and Brexit

Labour hit by 'civil war' claims amid rows over anti-Semitism and Brexit”

"We will call a no confidence vote when we believe that those Conservative members of parliament who have said that they would support a no confidence motion in the government in order to stop a no deal are likely to support it", Gardiner told Sky News. "That is for him to answer".

Reports that the Labour Party is on the verge of splitting are "myths and rubbish", shadow chancellor John McDonnell said on Sunday.

In a letter sent by the Carter Ruck law firm, which is representing the party, to Sam Matthews, Labour's former head of disputes, it said some information presented in the documentary apparently could "only have come from you", according to the Sunday Times.

Another former aide also received warnings previous year from a different law firm representing Labour, the paper said.

Deputy leader Tom Watson described using "expensive media lawyers" as "as futile as it is stupid" and "not the Labour way".

Asked about the story, McDonnell told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I've not said to sack anybody".

In a separate interview on Sky, Barry Gardiner, the shadow global trade secretary, appeared to refine his position on whether Labour was a remain party.

He also defended the party's use of gagging clauses, insisting they were not being used to cover up wrongdoing.

Mr Gardiner said he would welcome an objective investigation of anti-Semitism in Labour but "my understanding of this programme is that has not been balanced and impartial in that way".

It involved talking to former party staff members who had a "political axe to grind", he claimed.

A Labour source accused the BBC of creating a "one-sided narrative" and said it would be complaining to the director-general, telling the paper: "With a possible general election around the corner, this smacks of bias and interference in the political process by the BBC and a clear breach of their own editorial guidelines".

The comments sparked outrage among Twitter users who were prompt to criticise the Streatham MP and call on his "hypocrisy" over changing party membership twice in the last six months despite being elected as a Labour MP.

"And yet they manage it", said former Labour MP Luciana Berger, who quit the party over the anti-Semitism scandal. We tried to reconcile ourselves with what the democratic will of the people was at that referendum and we tried to do that sincerely.

Mr McDonnell said Labour had to decide on its Brexit policy "sooner rather than later" because the new prime minister could call a snap election and his party's attempt to bridge the gap between Leave and Remain voters had failed. "I've also seen many tweets where people weren't keen on a candidate but voted for them as they were the Labour option".

His Tory colleague Dominic Grieve said he is examining ways of amending a bill on Northern Ireland to block no-deal, which is being debated in Parliament Monday.

With regards to Brexit, Mr McDonnell said the party should "get on with it" and said he would campaign for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union if there was a second referendum.

■ LABOUR would break up the Treasury and base part of it in the north, John McDonnell has revealed.

He said: "I actually think he is doing the right thing".

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