02/07/2017 11:28 BST

Labour Now 'United' Behind Jeremy Corbyn, Says Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth

Party remains a 'broad church'.


Labour is now “united” behind Jeremy Corbyn as leader, Jon Ashworth has said.

The shadow health secretary was asked by BBC’s Andrew Marr programme on Sunday morning whether he agreed with the party’s new chairman Ian Lavery that Labour “might be too broad a church”.

In an interview with HuffPost UK, Lavery appeared to suggest there was no longer a place in the party for some MPs on the right.

The ally of Corbyn said Labour MPs would have to “work very hard” to avoid deselection.

Ashworth said he had not read Lavery’s comments, but said: “We are a broad church, we always have been.

“We’ve always had different opinions, but we should remember we are a united party now.

“Jeremy is now secure as leader of the Labour Party, nobody is going to be challenging Jeremy.”

He added: “The turmoil in British politics is now in Conservative Party. It’s the Conservatives are in a complete mess.”

In his interview with HuffPost UK, Lavery said moderate MPs could be brought back onto the frontbench in future reshuffes.

But he fired a shot across the bows of MPs who clashed with leftwing grassroots members.

“You can’t be any more democratic than allowing the people in your constituency to pick who they want as their MP. I think that’s really fair and really important,” he said.

“That is the way it is at the minute, by the way, but perhaps we need to look at different ways and means. Listen, if you get deselected in a constituency there must be a reason for it.”

As HuffPost UK reported, pro-Corbyn  campaign group Momentum is building on Labour’s election successes by taking control of local parties ahead of the annual Labour conference.