Labour MPs who have quit the party should resign and put themselves up for election, Jeremy Corbyn has said. In a Twitter video, the Labour leader said it was the democratic thing to do because they wanted to abandon the policies on which they were elected.
Eight ex-Labour MPs have formed a new Independent Group, with three former Conservative MPs joining their ranks.
One of those ex-Tory MPs, Heidi Allen, told ITV's Peston a third of Tory MPs were fed up with the party's direction. Conservative MP Dominic Grieve has said he would quit the party if there was a no-deal Brexit.
The former attorney general told the BBC's Newsnight he admired the courage of the 11 members of the Independent Group and agreed totally with their support for another EU referendum.
He said he would not be able to stay in the Conservative Party if it went completely off the rails and backed leaving the EU without a negotiated agreement.
I would certainly cease to take the whip if I thought the Government was about to take us into a No Deal Brexit. I am absolutely clear about that
...So you would leave the party? I would have to leave the party - yes.
Other Labour MPs have said they will consider their futures unless Corbyn listens to their concerns about the culture of the party and acts on them.
While the Labour leader said he was disappointed by the defections, he suggested the eight were replaceable and the Labour movement was greater than the sum of its parts.
It is disappointing that some MPs have left our party to sit with disaffected Tory MPs, but we can't return to the failed business of usual politics of the past, he said.
These MPs now want to abandon the policies on which they were elected so the decent and democratic thing for them to do is to resign and put themselves up for election.
Momentum, the Labour movement backing Mr Corbyn, is to hold mass canvassing events in the constituencies of some of those ex-Labour MPs to build support in the event of a by-election.
It says it will have events in Streatham, Stockport, and Penistone and Stocksbridge - the constituencies of Chuka Umunna, Ann Coffey and Angela Smith respectively - in the next few weeks.
The Labour leader said he would not change direction in response to the defections but repeated that tackling anti-Semitism was a priority for him.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
Jeremy Corbyns labour party's contempt for its core voters and grass roots campaigners while pandering to the european union in Brussels and remain blairite mps within its ranks is a bit like my dad-oladejo awoku-if he coughs we all catch coldFeb 27th, 2019 - 01:21 pm 0