Theresa May to convene Cabinet as MPs return to Westminster

Richard Ashworth MEP

Richard Ashworth MEP

Labour must back a second Brexit referendum in order to respond to the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party's deputy leader Tom Watson said.

Later addressing his social media followers, he accused Mr Watson of spending too much time in "Islington with the north London champagne set", and added, "You can not trust the Labour Party because they are betraying you on Brexit as much as the Tories are".

Mr Farage's Brexit Party has signed up 60,000 paying supporters in only nine days and it hopes to have even more members than the Conservatives by the time of the European Union elections in May.

"We won't win if we sit on the fence about the most crucial issue that has faced our country for a generation".

In a tweet Mr Watson also said: "Labour won't defeat Nigel Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him".

However the two men fell out spectacularly after he was re-elected as a UKIP MP in 2015 and eventually Mr Carswell left the party, sitting in the House of Commons as an Independent.

Mr Farage has already gathered support from the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg's sister Annunziata.

Speaking to the Mirror newspaper Corbyn said, "Farage just says "let's get out of Europe without a deal". If you just walk away from Europe, the complications are enormous. There's a very integrated manufacturing process with us and Europe.

"If that is disrupted there are massive problems".

She said there is a "real appetite building" to support Change UK in the European elections, which are expected to be held next month following the delay to Brexit.

"But I think it's a chance for us to become competitive and reach out to the world".

An ORB poll for the Sunday Telegraph put the Conservatives three points behind Labour, on 26% compared to the Opposition's 29%.

Farage's Brexit Party movement has sent strong shock waves through the Conservative party.

Elsewhere, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party will unveil its candidates in London. 62% of the 1,132 Tory members surveyed said they will vote for Farage in the 23 May European contest.

The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is the favourite to replace Mrs May as leader among the party's grassroots, according to a new poll.