UK LABOUR’S internal strife over Brexit has broken out again after Tom Watson's fresh call for his party to campaign for a second Brexit referendum came under fire from Ian Lavery, its Chairman.

Mr Watson, the deputy leader, used a speech to pile pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to get the party to fully commit to a second referendum in an effort to keep the UK in the EU.

“Our members are Remain, our values are Remain, our hearts are Remain,” declared the Midlands MP.

Earlier this month, Scottish Labour broke ranks with the UK party to back a second referendum in all circumstances, pledging to campaign for Remain if one took place.

But the party’s official policy is to respect the 2016 vote and seek a general election; a second poll remained “some way off,” according to the Labour leader.

Mr Watson’s proposal drew immediate criticism from Mr Lavery, who tweeted: "Brexit has turned this country into a toxic nation. However, ignoring the 17.4m Leave voters isn't politically smart nor indeed particularly democratic. Is it?"

In his speech, the deputy leader said: “I’m a European democratic socialist. I don’t go along with the EU despite being a socialist, I embrace the EU because I am a socialist.

“Democratic socialism is achieving common causes by the strength of collective endeavour. That’s what Europe is.”

He later noted: “We've shied away from saying these things for too long. But now, as we stare down the barrel of a Boris Johnson premiership, we really must."

In a subsequent interview with the BBC, Mr Watson described another Brexit referendum as "the least worst option".

He accepted Labour fighting for Remain might mean the party losing some votes but he stressed that it would pay "a very high electoral price" if it did not have "a clear position" on Brexit.

Last month, it was widely claimed that Labour’s “constructive ambiguity” on Brexit was responsible for its poor performance at the European elections. It came third behind The Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats. Its share of the vote fell to just 14 per cent.

Last week, MPs expressed their frustration at a heated meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party in the Commons.

When asked if he would leave the Labour Party if things did not change, Mr Watson replied: "I'm never going to leave the Labour Party," but then noted: “Sometimes I wonder whether the Labour Party is leaving me."

Ian Murray, the pro-Remain former Shadow Scottish Secretary, said Mr Watson was "absolutely right" and emphasised how Scottish Labour had already switched tack to back a final say and Remain.

"For the communities we represent, it is vital that Labour puts the national interest first and is at the forefront of the fight to stay in the EU,” declared the Edinburgh South MP.

"Scottish Labour's policy is to back a final say and Remain and these words must now urgently be turned into action with a vocal summer campaign across Scotland and the UK," he added.

But Labour backbencher John Mann warned adopting an overtly Remain position would lead to Labour losing the next General Election "by a significant amount".

The Nottinghamshire MP said if Labour "turned its back" on voters in northern England who voted Leave, "then Tom Watson won't be deputy, Jeremy Corbyn won't be Prime Minister."