Yvette Cooper is leading a group of Labour backbenchers in talks with the government over the newly established Brexit Unit

 
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Yvette Cooper will be meeting Oliver Letwin alongside Stephen Kinnock, Liam Byrne and Helen Goodman (Source: Getty)

Yvette Cooper will lead a committee of senior Labour backbenchers across party lines this afternoon for a meeting with Oliver Letwin to discuss the newly established civil service Brexit Unit.

Earlier this week, Downing Street launched the unit working on Brexit planning under Letwin in his role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Labour backbenchers have set up a meeting with him to discuss cross-party contributions.

City A.M. understands that Cooper, will be joined by Treasury Committee member Helen Goodman, former chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne and Stephen Kinnock.

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A source close to the matter said: “It has been set up as an exploratory meeting, but the hope is to make sure that Labour is able to contribute productively to Brexit negotiations”, adding that the backbenchers moved partly out of fear that Labour would be left unable to contribute to Brexit planning due to the crisis currently surrounding party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Since Sunday, Corbyn has been unable to fill his shadow cabinet or front bench, and the Labour leader has been hit by more than 60 resignations, with many citing the party's ineffectiveness in opposition.

However, Goodman maintained the quartet were responding to Prime Minister David Cameron's comments on Monday, when he said that would take representations from all sides.

"We took up that offer," she said. "In my opinion the government needs to set out the scope and sequence of negotiations."

A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said: "The role of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is to listen to all views and representations and make sure they are fully considered in this exercise."

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