A Labour MP has responded to rumours that Jeremy Corbyn could be about to set up his own political party – saying MPs who join him should face a by-election.
According to reports in The Telegraph, the former Labour leader is considering going at it alone after privately accepting he will never be reinstated as a Labour MP.
Tony Diver reported that he has been urged by many in his inner circle, including his wife Laura Alvarez, to upgrade his charity into a political party, and run under its banner at the next election.
If the party is established, it could tempt the defection of Left-wing MPs who are disaffected with the leadership of Starmer, and could take the name of the Peace and Justice Project, which Mr Corbyn established to coordinate his political activities after he was suspended from Labour.
But Charlotte Nichols, the MP for Warrington North, said that should result in by-elections in constituencies impacted.
She tweeted: “I don’t believe a single member of the PLP will leave to join him even in the very unlikely event there’s actually any truth behind this, but I firmly believe anyone defects from their party mid-term (whoever it’s to) should call a by-election accordingly.”
The comments come amid rumours that Labour has already moved to line up a replacement for Corbyn in Islington North.
According to reports Mary Creagh is being prepped to run for election in the consistency, a seat held by the former Labour leader since 1983.
Creaghangrily confronted Mr Corbyn shortly after she lost her Wakefield seat as part of the Tories’ conquest of Labour’s Red Wall.
She was filmed challenging the then leader in Portcullis House at Westminster after seeing him pose for photographers with young people as she was clearing out her office.
She said later that she “couldn’t understand why he was posing for photos when in my view he should be apologising” over the election defeat and its consequences.
Ms Creagh told the BBC: “I wondered why he was smiling and joking when I was in the House of Commons making my staff redundant before Christmas.”