JEREMY Corbyn has issued a call for Labour MPs to unite, on the eve of his all but certain victory in the battle to retain the leadership. The veteran left-winger is hot favourite to see off the challenge of Owen Smith when the results of the leadership election are announced in Liverpool today.

Bookmaker William Hill gave him a 99 per cent chance of success and an odds-on hope of improving on the 59.5 per cent support he received when first elected a year ago.

In a video message to supporters, Corbyn said that internal critics had a “duty to unite”, regardless of the margin of victory. But senior moderate Caroline Flint said Corbyn needs to show he can listen to criticism from within the party and warned of “warfare” if he allows talk of MP deselections to continue.

After private talks this week with senior MPs on Labour’s moderate wing, Corbyn is expected to seek to rebuild his frontbench team in the wake of the expected confirmation of his position.

The resignation of more than 40 frontbenchers in June left him unable to fill all his shadow minis- terial posts, but reports have suggested as many as 14 may be ready to return following the apparent failure of Smith’s bid to unseat him.

But it is thought others, including Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna are likely to focus on their bids to secure the chairs of influential parliamentary committees, which would allow them to take prominent roles scrutinising Theresa May’s Government from outside Corbyn’s camp.

Labour’s ruling national executive committee was due to meet after the result was announced.

It put off a decision earlier this week on proposals to restore elections to the shadow cabinet, which might have given some centrist MPs a route back into Corbyn’s top team.

In his video message, Corbyn said: “This isn’t and never has been about me. It’s about all of us. We all have a duty to unite, cherish and build our movement.”