The Staggers 26 June 2016 John McDonnell "will never" stand for Labour leader and has a warning for rebels Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says a rebel front bench can be replaced. Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman\'s Morning Call email. Sign-up Moments after sacked Cabinet minister Hilary Benn called for other MPs to "do the right thing", Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was telling rebel Labour MPs where to go. McDonnell played down the risk of a coup against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling the BBC's Andrew Neil: "Jeremy's not going anywhere." And he ruled himself out as a replacement candidate for leader: "Let me get this absolutely clear. I will never stand for leadership fo the Labour Party. If Jeremy has to stand again, I will chair his campaign." He denied rumours his ally Seema Malhotra was phoning round to gather support for his candidacy and added: "Jeremy is not falling on his sword and if he did I wouldn't be standing." McDonnell also dismissed the rumours of a Shadow Cabinet revolt, despite the news Shadow Health minister Heidi Alexander had resigned and others were expected to do so. If they left, he said, they could be replaced. Given the growing antipathy of Labour MPs to the Corbyn leadership, this claim is rather questionable. There are only so many Labour MPs. But McDonnell was on stronger ground when he reminded any listening Shadow Ministers of the electoral victories in by-elections and the London election. He said: "Every electoral test Jeremy's faced since becoming leader he's won." And in a veiled warning to rebels, he warned: "Who is soverign in our party? The people who are soverign are the party members. "I'm saying respect the party members. And in that way we can hold together and win the next election." MPs were citing polls, he said. "But who trusts polls?" Hundreds of thousands of members of the public had signed a petition backing Corbyn, he said. Indeed, with events happening so rapidly, and the choice between party members and voters so stark, Labour MPs will have no time to trust anything but their instincts. › Sacked Hilary Benn rules out standing for leadership but tells others "do the right thing" Julia Rampen is the digital night editor at the Liverpool Echo, and the former digital news editor of the New Statesman. She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!