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Jeremy Corbyn’s top team split on when to table motion of confidence to topple Theresa May

Labour leader rebuffs demands from MPs, members and some shadow ministers for swift action to force Commons vote

A row has erupted among Jeremy Corbyn ’s top team over when the party should push for a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government, The Independenthas learnt.

The dispute has seen key figures in the shadow cabinet demanding that the party strike sooner rather than later in order to remove the prime minister from office after she was weakened by an attempt by Tory MPs to oust her.

But Mr Corbyn and his allies are refusing to allow the offensive to go ahead until there is a good chance it will be successful, and are likely to block any attempt to move until Ms May has held her meaningful vote on her Brexit deal. They believe the Tory Brexiteers and the DUP are not yet ready to vote with the opposition parties to topple the government.

The Independent understands that those backing swift action include Tom WatsonLabour’s deputy leader, and Sir Keir Starmer, the influential shadow Brexit secretary, while those backing Mr Corbyn’s decision to play the waiting game include shadow chancellor John McDonnell, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and party chairman Ian Lavery.

Labour sources would not rule out tabling a no-confidence motion this week, after Ms May addresses the Commons on the latest Brexit negotiations, but the party is understood to be more likely to strike once Ms May brings her deal back to the Commons in January.


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