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Labour's Clive Lewis denies he is considering launching leadership challenge against Corbyn

Clive Lewis said he was working to support Jeremy Corbyn from the back benches. Credit: PA

A Labour MP who quit the shadow cabinet to vote against triggering Brexit has denied rumours that he was considering mounting a leadership challenge.

Clive Lewis has rejected reports that he had began sounding out colleagues over a potential challenge to Jeremy Corbyn as he said talk of a bid to take over the top spot was "fantasy politics".

The Norwich MP stood down as Shadow Business secretary last week to defy Mr Corbyn's three line whip by voting against triggering Article 50 in the Commons.

He has since been rumoured to be considering launching a bid to topple Mr Corbyn amid widespread discontent over the leader's decision to back the Government's bill and his insistence that all the party's MPs follow suit.

However, Mr Lewis today said the reports of a leadership bid were untrue, insisting "nothing could be further from my mind”.

“There has been speculation about that, and it is just that. You can quote me on this," he told the Eastern Daily Press.

He was "working hard" to support the leadership from the back benches, he added.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not sack Brexit vote rebels. Credit: PA

It comes after Mr Cobyn announced that a number of Labour frontbench members who defied his orders to vote against Article 50 would escape with just a formal "final" warning in view of the "extraordinary" circumstances.

A total of 52 Labour MPs - including 14 frontbench rebels - refused to follow a the three-line whip.

Such an order usually means that MPs must vote as instructed or face serious consequences such as being sacked from posts in the shadow cabinet or even expelled from the party.

The Labour leader has previously seen off a leadership challenge from Owen Smith in a contest which ultimately saw Mr Corbyn re-elected with an increased mandate.

However he has faced fresh criticism over his stance over Brexit, which has seen him broadly support the Government.