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  • Owen Smith has announced he is to stand for the Labour leadership
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Dennis Skinner compares rebel Labour MPs to 'scab' miners

Rebellious Labour MPs who want to oust Jeremy Corbyn have been compared to "scab" miners by a veteran left winger as a crunch meeting of the party's ruling committee got under way.

Dennis Skinner sits on Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) Credit: Press Association

Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) is meeting in central London to rule on whether Mr Corbyn needs the nominations of 51 MPs and MEPs to stand in the party's leadership contest.

Dennis Skinner, who sits on the committee, compared the 172 Labour MPs who backed a no confidence motion in Mr Corbyn to the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM), who he said supported Margaret Thatcher during the miners' strike of the Eighties.

Mr Skinner said: "There are some people in the party, especially in the Parliamentary Labour Party, that are acting like the UDM - the ones that lined up with Thatcher against the NUM."

Asked if the rebellious MPs were "scabs", he replied: "That's a matter for you to interpret, you seem very plausible."

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