Labour rebels set to defy Jeremy Corbyn's orders to vote against Repeal Bill

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Jeremy Corbyn was hit by a Brexit revolt today over Labour voting against the Withdrawal Bill.

Brexit-supporting Labour MPs and some who represent constituencies where a majority voted Leave criticised party chiefs over the decision to oppose the legislation, which has been branded a power grab by ministers.

One Labour MP claimed as many as 50 backbenchers, many from the North and Midlands, could defy Mr Corbyn by abstaining rather than voting against the Bill. He said: “The anger is this has been decided by the shadow cabinet and handed down from on high with no consultation with the Parliamentary Labour Party.

“Among traditional Labour voters who voted for Brexit it will be seen as the party wanting to block Brexit.”

Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer, a former whip, told BBC radio it would be “an absolute breach of trust” to try to block the Bill next week.

Former minister Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, told the BrexitCentral website: “To vote against the Repeal Bill is to vote against the will of the British people. Labour cannot appear to be attempting to scupper Brexit.”

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer briefed Labour MPs yesterday on the party’s stance but during heated exchanges is understood to have faced criticism from several MPs.

However, the Holborn and St Pancras MP defended imposing a three-line whip on MPs to vote against the Bill. He said: “If this is passed in its current form, MPs are effectively relegating themselves to spectators as the baton is passed to the Government to do as it likes with Brexit.”

He insisted Labour was not trying to block or delay the UK’s departure from the European Union.


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