Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn backs under-fire Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has given his backing to Jeremy Corbyn.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has given his backing to Jeremy Corbyn.

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Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn has backed under-fire Jeremy Corbyn amid increasing calls for the Labour leader to resign.

Since Britain voted to leave the European Union in Thursday's referendum, Corbyn's role in the debate and his leadership of Labour have been brought into question by many MPs.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he would contest any leadership challenge.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he would contest any leadership challenge.

Corbyn sacked shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn on Sunday, and since then, 19 members of the shadow cabinet have resigned.

Corbyn has since announced a reshaped shadow cabinet to replace those who have resigned.

And Hepburn insists he is fully supportive of the Labour leader.

He said: "I am fully behind Jeremy Corbyn.

"I think the planned resignations are a distraction from what we should be doing and that is holding this rotten Tory government to account for the misery they are piling on the people of this country.

"I am sure Jeremy's new appointments will focus more fully on that task."

Earlier today, Corbyn met with deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, who told him he has “no authority” among the party’s MPs and warned him he faces a leadership challenge.

Corbyn - who became Labour leader last September, winning a landslide victory from party members and others allowed to vote - insisted yesterday that he would contest any leadership challenge.