Victory for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race could lead to the break-up of the party, one of its biggest donors has warned.
Entrepreneur John Mills said a win for the left-winger could lead to donations from wealthy backers drying up and ultimately result in a split in Labour like the one that led to the creation of the SDP in the 1980s.
Mr Mills, who founded the JML home shopping firm, told the Guardian: "If Corbyn won, I suspect what would happen is that there would be some sort of split. Then you would have an SDP-type party."
He predicted that some donors would stop funding Labour, although he acknowledged there could be more support from the trade unions.
"The Labour party has a spectrum of donors," he said. "I suspect that some of the major donors would be less likely to give, and so the amount of donations would go down. But at the same time donations from trade unions could go up."
Calls to halt the Labour leadership race have been branded "unhelpful" after reports emerge of alleged "hard-left infiltration" of party.
Corbyn urges his party to be 'true to its roots' and offer 'a credible alternative' as the race to become new Labour leader continues.
"I can't believe that he said it," said Blair's former deputy Lord Prescott, who begged Labour to debate policies not personalities.