A permanent split in the Labour Party is a distinct possibility according to former deputy leader John Prescott

 
Mark Sands
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Former Labour deputy leader John Prescott has asked the party's rebels to "think twice" before you open that door. (Source: Getty)

Lord Prescott has warned that the Labour party could split into two groups as leader Jeremy Corbyn continues to face calls to resign from his own MPs.

Former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle launched a fresh appeal for Corbyn to step down yesterday, telling the BBC he should quit “for the good of the party and the country”.

And speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, Prescott said that a party split could happen if the deadlock cannot be broken.

“We need to prevent the civil war. It will be disastrous for us. I sat in the Labour Party when it was the SDP. It put us out for 18 years. Is that what we want again?” Prescott said.

And the former Labour deputy leader called on Labour MPs to “think twice before you go that road”.

“Let’s be a bit more common sense and remember it’s a whole party, not a bit of it,” Prescott said.

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Corbyn has been under pressure for more than week, with more than 60 Labour shadow cabinet, front benchers and parliamentary aides resigning since last Sunday.

The Labour leader was also handed a resounding defeat in a vote of no confidence last week, with just 40 MPs backing Corbyn, compared to 172 on the other side.

He has today sought to mend bridges, writing in the Sunday Mirror that he was offering a “peace deal” to the rebels.

However, Corbyn maintained that he has no plans to step down.

"Those who want to challenge my leadership are free to do so in a democratic contest, in which I will be a candidate," he said.

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