JOHN McDonnell has claimed a second Brexit referendum is now inevitable.

In a boost to supporters of the People’s Vote campaign, the shadow chancellor said his party’s first preference was for “a deal that protects jobs and the economy”.

He added: “If we can’t achieve that, if the Government can’t achieve that, we think we can, if the Government can’t achieve that, we should have a General Election...

“You know as well as I do it is very difficult to do because of the nature of the legislation that David Cameron brought forward.

“If that’s not possible we’ll be calling upon the Government then to join us in a public vote. And again, it’s difficult to judge this at each stage of this. But that’s the sequence I think that will inevitably go through over this period.”

Asked again whether he believed a second vote was “inevitable” if no election could be secured, he replied: “That’s right. So we’ve said our policy is if we can’t get a General Election, well then the other option which we’ve kept on the table is the people’s vote, a public vote.”

Theresa May said McDonnell’s comments that “the true Labour position” was to “frustrate Brexit”.

This, the Prime Minister said would be a “betrayal of the vote of the British people”.