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Last push by Labour MPs to persuade Corbyn to quit

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Credit: PA

Backbench Labour MPs are having one last push at trying to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to resign, and nominate another left wing MP to run against Angela Eagle in a leadership contest.

Which is why Angela Eagle may not now announce her candidacy at 3pm today, as she was scheduled to do.

There is a belief - which I am told may be wishful thinking - that the only reason Corbyn has not quit is that he is being urged not to by Seumas Milne, his top adviser, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, and Karie Murphy, who also works with Corbyn.

They think he would go so long as he was convinced there would be a credible alternative left-wing voice in a leadership contest.

Estranged Labour MPs are arguing that the party will inevitably split if Corbyn beats Eagle in a leadership contest, so they are begging him to make way for another candidate of the left.

Their hope is that the left would coalesce around Owen Smith, but they fear he is not sufficiently left wing for Corbyn and his closest allies.

So other possible left candidates would be Clive Lewis or the shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The detached Labour MPs may not do a deal if McDonnell were the candidate.

"If Corbyn refuses to stand down, it will be proof that he and his faction care more about taking control of the party than winning elections and the good of the country", said one of his opponents.

An ally of Corbyn said: "Jeremy is absolutely determined to fight on. He has a clear mandate from Labour members. His opponents don't believe in democracy".

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