Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson, has reportedly issued a face-to-face warning to Jeremy Corbyn, as the veteran left-winger faces a plot to topple his leadership of the party. Watson, who has strong ties with Labour-supporting trade unions, apparently told the party leader that he may face a leadership challenge, a source close to Corbyn told IBTimes UK.
The source also claimed it was "categorically untrue" that Watson had urged Corbyn to quit and said the Labour leader told him he would stand in any election. The comments comes after the BBC reported that Watson had told Corbyn that he had "no authority".
Dozens of Labour MPs resigned from the shadow cabinet over the course of Sunday (26 June) and Monday after Hilary Benn was sacked as shadow foreign secretary for saying he had "no confidence" in Corbyn.
The remarks came after the UK voted to split from the EU in a 23 June referendum. Corbyn had campaigned for a Remain vote, but many Labour heartlands backed a Brexit.
The Labour leader has made 10 new appointments to his top team in reaction to the mass resignations, including Emily Thornberry's promotion to shadow foreign secretary and Dianne Abbott's move to shadow health secretary.
Corbyn has remained defiant throughout the plot to unseat him, citing his landslide victory last summer that saw him attract almost 60% of the vote. "I was elected by hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members and supporters with an overwhelming mandate for a different kind of politics," the Labour leader said in a statement issued on Sunday night.
"I regret there have been resignations today from my shadow cabinet. But I am not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me – or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them.
"Those who want to change Labour's leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate.
"Over the next 24 hours I will reshape my shadow cabinet and announce a new leadership team to take forward Labour's campaign for a fairer Britain – and to get the best deal with Europe for our people."
Momentum, the pro-Corbyn pressure group, has organised a protest outside the House of Commons on Monday at 6pm BST to coincidence with the weekly meeting of Labour's parliamentary party. A spokesman for the group told IBTimes UK: ""At such a critical time for our country following the Brexit vote, this division is the last thing we need. We call for unity and the Labour Party to offer a programme of hope for our people."