‘NO TIME TO WASTE!’ – Former Labour MP DEMANDS the party unify behind a second Brexit vote

Chuka Umunna has criticised the Shadow Cabinet (Image: GETTY)

The Independent Group (TIG) MP insisted yesterday that his former party must work to put the national interest at the forefront of its plans. Last week, Jeremy Corbyn announced that the Labour Party would back a second referendum amid subsequent reports that such a decision had created a rift within the party. Mr Umunna’s comments come as a number of frontbench MPs including Shadow Housing minister Melanie Onn and Shadow Justice minister, Gloria De Piero publicly opposed a second vote.

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Mr Umunna said: “With just 26 days to go to the scheduled date of departure, it is absolutely vital that we all work together in the national interest to give people the final say on Brexit.

“All terms and conditions attached to a people‘s vote need to be dropped and an unequivocal commitment given now to make it happen. There is no time to waste.”

Mr Umunna and other members of TIG left their respective parties in part due to the issues currently surrounding Brexit.

The TIG MP was recently appointed as spokesman for the group and has been a critic of Mr Corbyn’s leadership of his former party.

Mr Umunna has recently been designated as the spokesman for TIG (Image: GETTY)

Specifically, Mr Umunna left what he termed a “cult of fear” and that he felt “uncomfortable” in the party.

In light of Mr Umunna’s comments, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell suggested that the party will whip its MPs to back a second Brexit vote.

Instead of offering a free vote, the party will likely demand that its MPs back the second referendum in a move that one MP warned could lead to a rebellion of 70 Labour politicians.

Speaking on Sky, Mr McDonnell said: “Normally we will whip and that will be decided in the normal way by the chief whip and the Shadow Cabinet and the party overall.

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Mr McDonnell has insisted that they will whip MPs to voting for a second vote (Image: GETTY)

“I think on an issue as this we would see a whip but also you’ve got to respect people’s views and their constituency interests as well, and the whipping arrangement will be determined in discussion in due course.”

Mr McDonnell also insisted that the party would never be forgiven if it allowed a Brexit deal or no-deal to damage the futures of its membership.

In response, however, senior backbencher Caroline Flint demanded a free vote on the deal.

Ms Flint urged Mr McDonnell that Labour MPs should be free to vote on improved workers’ right – something she had campaigned on – in any new Brexit deal.