Former Sheffield MP Lord David Blunkett has said that the resignation of veteran MP Frank Field means the party faces ‘irrelevance’ unless the situation is used as a ‘catalyst for seismic change’.
Mr Blunkett insisted the veteran Birkenhead MP's decision to quit the Labour whip called for a rethink of the ‘Corbyn project’.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lord Blunkett said: "Frank Field's decision, and his concerns over both anti-Semitism and the behaviour of party members indicate a deeper malaise.
"His actions need to be seen as a catalyst for seismic change and a rethink of the so-called 'Corbyn project'.
"The commitment to Labour as a 'broad church', which motivated some of those who nominated Jeremy, has been thrown back in their faces and demonstrated that the so-called 'new style of politics' is anything but.
"Quite simply, Labour has to put its own house in order as decisively and speedily as possible.
"What matters for the health of our democracy and the continuity of the existence of the Labour party, of which I have been a member for 55 years, are the actions taken and the quality of leadership from Jeremy Corbyn and his colleagues over the next seven days.
"Either Jeremy Corbyn can lead a party into gradual decline and irrelevance, or demonstrate that he can lead a party fit for government. The choice is his."
The comments came as Mr Field said he will employ ‘the best legal minds’ to dispute party rules which say he cannot return to the party after resigning the whip.
Mr Field, who has served as the MP for Birkenhead for almost 40 years, was told by party chief whip Nick Brown that his decision to resign automatically meant he was no longer a member.