JEREMY CORBYN yesterday denied he was facing a disaster after 52 Labour MPs — including 13 frontbenchers and whips — rebelled over Brexit.
The Labour leader (pictured) accused the BBC of ‘reporting fake news’ as he fended off questions about quitting the Labour leadership following the revolt.
Asked if he had set a date to step down, he told BBC Breakfast: ‘That’s in the I-made-it-up-yesterday dot com.’
Clive Lewis is the bookies’ favourite to succeed him after resigning as shadow business secretary in the wake of this week’s vote to trigger Article 50.
Despite a ‘difference of opinion’ Mr Corbyn insists the party remains united.
‘Some of my colleagues felt that since their constituencies voted heavily to remain, they should reflect that in Parliament. I understand the argument. I don’t agree with it because it was a national referendum. Does that mean we give up? Absolutely not.’
Meanwhile, Theresa May was warned by Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni that Brexit ‘won’t be easy’ as she met him in Downing Street yesterday. However, Mr Gentiloni said there is ‘no point in having destructive negotiations between the EU and the UK’ when it comes to thrashing out an exit deal.
The prime minister again refused to guarantee the future of EU citizens living in the UK but said it would be an early priority in talks with the bloc.
Brexit secretary David Davis yesterday rubbished claims the House of Lords would face ‘overwhelming public calls for abolition’ if it derails the Brexit process when peers debate the Article 50 bill later this month.
‘I’ve seen these blood-curdling things, they’re silly,’ he told Sky News.