Jeremy Corbyn tells Labour ‘to stop navel gazing’ after hard-Left plot storm

Kate Proctor

Jeremy Corbyn has told Labour to stop “navel gazing” after a vicious row among MPs over an alleged hard-Left plot.

The Labour leader said members needed to put the party first and to focus on the May local elections in a two-minute video posted on his Facebook page late last night.

His direct plea to the party was released hours after MPs lined up to quiz him over the alleged infiltration of Labour by grassroots campaign group Momentum and its briefings against deputy leader Tom Watson.

Mr Corbyn said: “To win we need unity, not navel gazing. My plea to all Labour Party members whether grassroots or in senior positions is to think of our people first. Think of our movement first. Think of the party first.”

Rallying cry: Labour's Jeremy Corbyn (PA)

MPs reacted with fury after the founder of Momentum, Jon Lansman, was secretly recorded saying he was seeking financial backing for the group from the Unite union.

Deputy leader Mr Watson said Momentum was trying to “take over the party” while sources close to Mr Corbyn issued a briefing saying his comments were “reckless”. A backbench MP told the Evening Standard the party was now in “all out warfare” .