LABOUR’S General Election campaign has suffered a major blow as one of the party’s former MPs urged voters to back Boris Johnson over Jeremy Corbyn.

Ian Austin said the Labour leader was “not fit to lead” as he vowed to do “everything” he could to stop Corbyn entering Number 10.

It came as the Jewish Chronicle newspaper published a front page urging voters not to back Labour because of Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism within the party.

The paper said the “near total inaction of Corbyn and the rest of the Labour leadership in dealing with anti-Semites in the party has both emboldened them and encouraged others” – accusing Corbyn and his allies of having “actively impeded action against the racists.”

Austin, who is not contesting the Dudley North seat he has held since 2005, told the Express & Star newspaper: “I must do everything I can to stop Jeremy Corbyn from getting into power.”

The long-time critic of Corbyn and a former adviser to Gordon Brown quit Labour in February in response to what he claimed was a “culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance”.

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He said “decent patriotic Labour voters” should vote Tory to help Johnson get the majority he needs to stop Corbyn from entering Number 10, adding that the opposition leader was “too big a risk”.

His intervention came just hours after Labour deputy leader Tom Watson – who has also been publicly critical of the leadership’s attempts to tackle anti-Semitism in the party – announced he is standing down, saying the time was right for him to step away from politics.

After a turbulent start to the election campaign Labour sought to focus on the economy yesterday.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell pledged an “irreversible shift” in wealth in favour of working people if his party gains power on December 12.

Speaking in his home city of Liverpool, he said Labour would deliver a programme of investment “on a scale never seen before in this country”. He also announced plans for a “social transformation fund”, investing £150 billion in schools, hospitals, care homes and council housing over five years. At the same time he promised to break up the Treasury, devolving some of its powers to the north in a shift in the “centre of political gravity” away from London.