Alan Johnson appeals for calm after splits in Labour Party threatened if Corbyn wins leadership

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Alan Johnson, the former Home Secretary and Shadow Chancellor, has appealed for calm in the Labour party over further rumours of splits if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader.

Fears of a split have increased in recent days as numerous Labour MPs have said they fear being deselected by members loyal to Jeremy Corbyn. Johnson has appealed for loyalty to whoever is elected leader of the party and confirmed that he would also remain loyal.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph Johnson said:

“This is an election. If Jeremy Corbyn emerges as the winner I would counsel anyone thinking of splitting or separating to think again”.

Johnson is supporting Yvette Cooper in the leadership contest and although he appealed for calm he also urged restraint from the left of the party. Johnson warned against repeating past mistakes and said:

“I certainly hope that Jeremy and his supporters, particularly the more finger-jabbing intolerant sections of them are not going to try to repeat the 1980s”.

There are four candidates for the Labour leadership who are Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall. The results will be announced at a special conference on Saturday 12 September 2015.