Clive Lewis has dismissed speculation that he is to challenge #Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader after resigning from the shadow cabinet over the Brexit bill.
Lewis, seen as a rising star on the left of the party with broader appeal than Corbyn, quit as shadow business secretary after voting against triggering article 50 on Wednesday night, in contravention of a three-line whip.
His resignation prompted speculation he could be considering a tilt at the leadership. But, in an interview with his local paper, the Norwich South MP issued an emphatic denial.
“You can quote me on this. It is total bollocks,” he told the Eastern Daily Press. Any talk suggesting he was preparing to challenge Corbyn was part of a “game of fantasy #politics in Westminster”, he added, and “nothing could be further from my mind”.
Lewis was one of 52 Labour MPs who defied the whip to vote against the bill authorising the government to trigger the formal process for exiting the EU.