Warning to Labour leadership comes after John McDonnell said his party was talking to Conservative MPs about opposing withdrawal bill

Backbenchers have warned the Labour leadership to let rebel Conservative MPs lead the opposition to the EU withdrawal bill, after the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has said his party was talking to Tory MPs to block any prospect of a “no deal” Brexit.

His comments have sparked concern from Labour and Conservative backbenchers who believe Tory MPs are not likely to be won over to support the amendment if it can be construed as being orchestrated by McDonnell or the Labour frontbench.

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