Chuka Umunna tells Corbyn to ‘call off the dogs’ and end purge – UK

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Labour backbencher Chuka Umunna has accused leader Jeremy Corbyn of driving centre-left MPs out of the party, urging him to “call off the dogs”.

The pro-EU campaigner claims “moderates” in the party are being targeted by more hardline factions and face a “clear and present danger” of being forced out.

Several Labour MPs who have been critical of Mr Corbyn, particularly over his handling of the anti-Semitism row, have found themselves locked in battles with members of their constituency Labour party.

Labour Friends of Israel chairwoman Joan Ryan, a former minister under Tony Blair, and Luton South MP Gavin Shuker, both lost local no confidence votes on Thursday.

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In a speech to the centre-left group Progress, Mr Umunna is expected to say: “More motions such as this are expected by colleagues.

“My message to our leadership: it is within your power to stop this so call off the dogs and get on with what my constituency, one of the most diverse communities in the nation, demands we do – without equivocation, fight this Tory Brexit. That is where all our efforts should be.”

Labour's Chuka Umunna calls for a public inquiry into 'Vote Leave' campaign
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Chuka Umunna claims centre-left MPs are being driven out of Labour

Mr Umunna will also call on the leadership to stop using internal divisions as an excuse not to fight Brexit.

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He will warn the Labour leadership it would be a “complete betrayal” of the party’s values to “act as a bystander and wave through this disastrous Brexit” and call for it to back a referendum on the final deal.

“It is simply not good enough to adopt a position which refuses to make the case for a people’s vote on the deal and at the same time leave it on the table as an option in the event of impasse in the House of Commons,” he will say.

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“That is simply constructive ambiguity continued, which needs to be junked.

“Let’s dump the prevarication, stop using internal factional reasons as an excuse to avoid it, and back a people’s vote wholeheartedly now.”

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