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Amber Rudd backs Boris Johnson to be Tory leader

Amber Rudd Credit: PA

ITV News understands that Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd is backing Boris Johnson to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.

The MP for Hastings and Rye's support comes after she attacked him during a debate on ITV in the run-up to the EU referendum.

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McDonnell: PLP like 'lynch mob without the rope'

The Parliamentary Labour Party meeting on Monday was "like a lynch mob without the rope", the shadow chancellor has said.

John McDonnell has stuck by Jeremy Corbyn since he lost a confidence vote among MPs by 172 to 40 but refused to resign, insisting he still has a "people's mandate" to lead following his landslide victory in the Labour leadership elections last summer.

Jeremy Corbyn has been my closest friend over the last 35 years in politics. I support him 100%.

– Shadow chancellor John McDonnell

Mr McDonnell branded the actions of Labour MPs who wanted Mr Corbyn to stand down as leader as "just bizarre" and "not acceptable", arguing that rather than infighting the party should be looking after the interests of the country as the Government "fell apart".

The MP for Hayes and Harlington added that had Mr Corbyn "walked on water" during the EU referendum, he would still have been blamed for remain's loss at the polls.

A defiant Mr McDonnell added that since Mr Corbyn won the leadership election they had been expecting a "coup".

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Unions reiterate support for Jeremy Corbyn

Senior figures at Britain's largest unions have signed a statement saying that they stand behind Corbyn to fight off the "regrettable and unnecessary" crisis in the Labour party.

"Jeremy Corbyn is the democratically-elected Leader of our Party who secured such a resounding mandate," the statement reads.

It continues, saying his position "cannot and should not be challenged" other than through "the proper democratic procedures" set out in the party's constitution.

Eagle to formally challenge Corbyn on Thursday

Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn Credit: Reuters

ITV News' deputy political editor Chris Ship understands that Angela Eagle will challenge Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader on Thursday afternoon.

It is expected she will make the announcement at around 3pm.

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