John McDonnell has appealed for calm as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn continues to cling on to power amid what the shadow chancellor described as “mass hysteria” since Britain voted to leave the EU.
Mr McDonnell said he had no intention of replacing his close ally as party leader and called for talks with those Labour MPs hoping to topple Mr Corbyn.
Mr Corbyn remains as party leader despite opposition from the majority of his MPs following last month’s EU referendum vote.
Mr McDonnell told Good Morning Britain: “Now is the time to sort of calm down, everyone calm down.
“Since the referendum there’s sort of been mass hysteria in virtually all our political parties and I can’t completely understand it.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, allegations being made, claims being made. Untruths being said.”
Mr McDonnell denied claims made in a tweet posted by a Labour MP on Sunday night that said a deal was being struck for Mr Corbyn to stand down in return for the shadow chancellor being put on the ballot paper.
He said: “That has never been discussed. Last week I was accused of a coup against Jeremy myself. This week I was accused of forcing him to stay in. It gets ridiculous.”
Former shadow cabinet ministers Angela Eagle and Owen Smith are believed to be considering staging a leadership challenge but union leaders have insisted they can broker a peace deal between the warring sides.
Unite boss Len McCluskey said Mr Corbyn was the victim of a “political lynching” but insisted the leader would not quit.
“The coup has failed,” he told the BBC. “Jeremy Corbyn is made of stronger stuff, he is a man of steel and he has made it clear that he will not stand down.”
On Monday Mr Corbyn will be quizzed by MPs over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party after stoking controversy at the launch of a report into the issue last week.
The opposition leader was forced last week to deny drawing a parallel between Israel and IS after saying that Jews were “no more responsible for the actions of Israel” than Muslims were for the “various self-styled Islamic states or organisations”.
The Labour leader’s comment, at the launch of a report by Shami Chakrabarti on allegations of anti-Semitism within the party, was branded “offensive” by Britain’s most prominent Jewish leader, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
Ms Chakrabarti found that the party was “not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or other forms of racism”.
Mr Corbyn will appear before the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee to discuss the findings of the review.
Chairman Keith Vaz said: “We have seen a deeply troubling upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents and speech across Britain and Europe in recent times, including within our political discourse.
“It is one of our fundamental British values to stand together and speak out against intolerance and extremism in any and every form, and we particularly expect this from our political parties.
“We are grateful to Jeremy Corbyn for coming to give evidence on his and the Labour Party’s position following the publication of the independent report on anti-Semitism in the party on Thursday. He is the second Westminster Party leader to do so.”