LABOUR is in “danger of disintegration” because of a take-over by Jeremy Corbyn’s extreme supporters and the “bullying” of moderates, the party’s former deputy leader has said.

In a scathing attack, Roy Hattersley said the situation was “much more dangerous” than in the 1980s, when then leader Neil Kinnock confronted the far-left Militant Tendency.

Lord Hattersley said Mr Corbyn’s leadership was a “tragedy” for Labour, and so was the silence of “people of sense and moderation” in the face of it.

He said Mr Corbyn also had “a democratic duty” to set aside his own Euroscepticism, and back remaining in the EU, as most Labour members wanted it.

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He told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour it remained “possible” for Labour to win the next election, but voters did not trust Mr Corbyn or the Momentum faction behind him.

He said: “In the 1980s there was entryism, there was the Militant Tendency, but they only operated in one or two small constituencies. They didn’t control the machine, they certainly didn’t control the leader, there were trade unions who were prepared to stand out against them and we always knew that the battle in the 1980s would eventually be won.

“Now things are much more serious because people who are not ‘real Labour’ as I define it are increasingly in control of the machine, they’re increasingly taking over constituencies, they’re increasingly bullying moderate MPs.

“And if it goes on like this the Labour party is in danger of disintegration.”

It emerged last week that Momentum, the grassroots movement set up to support Mr Corbyn, had reached more than 40,000 members, overtaking the UK Green Party.

READ MORE: Pete Wishart appeals for respect and unity amid Yes movement split

The Observer reported on Sunday that a network of entrepreneurs, philanthropists and donors had been working for more than a year on a new political party.

The centrist group was said to have access to up to £50m in funding, with its backers keen to “break the Westminster mould”.

Lord Hattersley said “third parties all end in fiascos” and it would be a “classic political misjudgement to try and form a new party now”.

He said Labour had put forward a “sensible, workable manifesto” at last year’s election, but had failed to make progress in the polls because of Mr Corbyn.

He said: “The problem is the hovering suspicion that somehow the people behind Jeremy will take over the party and run it in a way which we find unacceptable. Unless he can overcome that suspicion then we’re in difficult trouble as far as winning an election is concerned.”

He added: “If his job is to win the next election and to govern on a radical programme, he’s not doing as well as he should and that is because the voters in the country do not trust what I’ll call Corbynism, and Corbyn in particular.”

He said if pro-Corbyn forces succeeded in de-selecting what he called good, hard-working MPs who were potential Cabinet ministers it would cause “mayhem”.

He said: “Other members of Parliament will be nervous, other members of Parliament will be resentful and then we start talking again about the disaster of a split and a third party.”

READ MORE: Pete Wishart appeals for respect and unity amid Yes movement split

Lord Hattersley said he could think of at least eight people on the Labour backbenches who could be successful alternative leaders, but declined to name them.

He said those who supported his view of the Labour party should be speaking out:

“The people of sense and moderation and reason are very, very silent and that is a tragedy for the Labour party as great as the Corbyn election was a tragedy for the Labour party.”

Meanwhile, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she was "frustrated" her party had not done enough to tackle anti-Semitism, and had failed to implement recommendations from Baroness Chakrabarti's 2016 report on the subject.

She told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "It can't be right when people see on social media - and it's not just in the Labour Party but across the board - anti-Semitic rhetoric and they see no action taken or the action is far too slow."

Former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett said Labour's increased membership meant “you have got a few that are causing problems that we didn't have before”.

But pro-Corbyn Labour MP Chris Williamson said: “We know that anti-Semitism does exist on the left. I've got to say I've not come across it inside the Labour Party, I think it's more on the outer fringes of left-wing organisations outside the Labour Party.”

READ MORE: Pete Wishart appeals for respect and unity amid Yes movement split

Several hundred people gathered on Sunday afternoon outside Labour HQ in London to protest against anti-Semitism.

Actress Maureen Lipman said she was attending as a “disenfranchised socialist”.

Mrs Lipman said: "He [Mr Corbyn] is standing with elements who are against everything that we stand for: hardworking, decent Jewish people of whom I am incredibly proud. By doing nothing he is telling us the same thing he has been telling us for the last 30 years.

"He wants a Marxist party. Because it's worked so well in the rest of the world.”