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Jeremy Corbyn allows Article 50 rebels to keep jobs

The Labour leader had said before the Brexit vote that it would be “obviously impossible” for rebels to carry on in their roles.

Rebel shadow ministers who defied Jeremy Corbyn and voted against triggering formal Brexit negotiations have been told they can keep their jobs in a fresh blow to his authority.

The Labour leader and his chief whip decided on Friday to let 14 frontbench rebels – 11 shadow ministers and three whips – stay in post despite saying before the vote it would be “obviously impossible” for rebels to carry on in their jobs.

It caps a difficult week for Labour with the party’s MPs deeply split over Mr Corbyn’s decision to impose a three-line whip to force his MPs to vote for triggering Article 50.

A total of 52 MPs voted against the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, with 17 of his shadow government defying him too.

Party rules state shadow ministers who refuse to obey a three-line whip must resign or face the sack. Four shadow cabinet ministers – Clive Lewis, Rachael Maskell, Dawn Butler and Jo Stevens – quit over the vote.

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