Melanie Onn resigned to avoid voting for a People’s Referendum in eight indicative votes put to the Commons. Shadow Cabinet ministers Jon Trickett, Ian Lavery and Andrew Gwynne abstained as Labour frontbenchers mounted an insurrection against their leader. In farcical scenes, none of last night’s eight indicative votes received a majority as MPs failed in their attempt to take control of Brexit from Theresa May.
Mr Corbyn whipped Labour MPs to vote for a motion by Margaret Beckett demanding a second referendum on any final Brexit deal.
Opposition MPs were also whipped to back Labour’s alternative Brexit plan and Conservative grandee Ken Clarke’s proposal arguing for a permanent EU customs union.
On Wednesday, Mr Corbyn wrote to Labour MPs insisting they must “deliver our credible Brexit plan” to prevent mass resignations.
In his letter, the Labour leader said: “Labour’s proposed deal remains our preferred solution: based on a customs union, close alignment with the single market and dynamic alignment on rights, standards and protections.”
He told MPs the party needed to “keep the option of a public vote on the table in order to stop a disastrous no deal or May’s unacceptable deal”.
Miss Onn was one of 27 MPs who defied the Labour whip and voted against the amendment for a People’s Vote.
Dan Jarvis, Caroline Flint, John Mann and Gareth Snell were some of the other Labour giants who voted against the People’s Vote amendment.
Another 18 Labour MPs abstained, including Tracy Brabin, Stephen Kinnock and Lisa Nandy.
On Wednesday morning, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner was adamant Labour was “not a remain party now”.
Backing an amendment on a People’s Vote could be seen as supporting Mrs May’s deal, he claimed.
Mr Gardiner told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It would be saying we could accept what we have always said is a very bad deal.
“Therefore it looks as if the attempt to have a public vote on it is simply a way of trying to remain because nobody likes this deal.
“To put that up as the only alternative in a public vote and say we will let it go through looks as though you believe that, at the end of it, remain would be the result. It is not where our policy has been.
“Our policy is clearly that we would support a public vote to stop no deal or to stop a bad deal, but not that we would allow a bad deal as long as the public had the opportunity to reject Brexit altogether.”