JEREMY Corbyn's bid for No 10 has suffered a double blow today as two former Labour MPs urged voters to back Boris Johnson for Prime Minister.

Ian Austin said the Labour leader was "not fit to lead", and was joined by John Woodcock as they launched a campaign labelling Mr Corbyn a "disgrace to his party".

The move came as the Jewish Chronicle newspaper published a stark front page urging voters not to support Labour because of its leader's handling of anti-Semitism within the party.

The paper said the "near total inaction of Mr Corbyn and the rest of the Labour leadership in dealing with anti-Semites in the party has both emboldened them and encouraged others". It accused the Leader of the Opposition and his allies of having "actively impeded action against the racists."

It stressed: "If this man is chosen as our next prime minister, the message will be stark: that our dismay that he could ever be elevated to a prominent role in British politics and our fears of where that will lead are irrelevant."

Mr Austin, who is not contesting the Dudley North seat he has held since 2005, issued a blistering attack on Mr Corbyn: “I must do everything I can to stop Jeremy Corbyn from getting into power."

The long-time critic of Mr 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".

He said "decent patriotic Labour voters" should vote Tory to help Mr Johnson get the majority he needed to stop Mr Corbyn from entering Downing St, adding the Opposition leader was "too big a risk".

John McDonnell hit back, claiming Mr Austin was "employed by the Tories"; the former MP was appointed the Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Israel. During a campaign speech in Liverpool, the Shadow Chancellor noted: "What else do you expect him to do in an election campaign where you're employed by the Tories, you speak on behalf of the Tories. That's what this was about this morning."

Labour HQ stressed the party had made "absolutely clear anti-Semitism has no place" in its ranks.

"Jeremy Corbyn is a lifelong campaigner against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, hatred and bigotry," said a party spokesman.

"He has made it absolutely clear that anti-Semitism has no place in our party and society, and that no one who engages in it does so in his name. The Labour Party is fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community," he added.

Mr Woodcock, who announced this week that he would not stand for re-election in Barrow and Furness, "pleaded" with Labour supporters to "face up" to the choice of Mr Johnson or Mr Corbyn and to not "leave it until too late".

Speaking in Westminster, he warned: "Now all of that to an extent is water under the bridge but we have arrived in a campaign where one of two people are going to be Prime Minister...

"The choice to keep Jeremy Corbyn away from Downing Street, to stop him getting his hands on the levers of national security and defence has to be to vote Conservative in this election and that's what I'll be doing as well."

Mr Woodcock quit Labour with a scathing attack on Mr Corbyn's leadership last year.

He had been sitting as an independent since having the Labour whip withdrawn in April 2018 pending investigation of an allegation, which he denies, of sexual harassment.

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

After a turbulent start to the election campaign for the two main parties, Labour and the Tories sought to shift the focus to the economy instead.

Mr McDonnell said Labour would invest £150 billion in schools, hospitals, care homes and council housing over five years and he pledged an "irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people".

"That means change, real change, and it means investment on a scale never seen before in this country and certainly never seen before in the north and outside of London and the south east," he told supporters in Liverpool.

"To achieve that objective it also requires, therefore, an irreversible shift in the centre of gravity in political decision making as well as investment in this country from its location solely in London to be relocated to the North and regions and nations of our country."

Meanwhile, Sajid Javid, speaking in Manchester, said the Conservatives would increase borrowing to pay for new infrastructure.

Heralding new fiscal rules for a "new economic era", the Chancellor said: "While we must retain spending if we want growth to continue and get stronger in the future, then we need to invest in it. Taking the opportunity offered by those historically low borrowing rates."

In what could pose a significant threat to both main parties, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party announced they had agreed not to stand against each other in 60 constituencies across England and Wales.

The deal, brokered by the Unite to Remain group, will give voters a single Remain choice in 60 constituencies across England and Wales.

The group is confident that "at least 44" of the 60 seats are "highly winnable".

Elsewhere, the Prime Minister took to the skies in his campaign plane, dubbed “Con Air,” on the first full day of his election tour which will see him visit Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.

After touring a Tetley tea factory in Stockton, Mr Johnson insisted it was vital to "get Brexit done" so the country could move on, bringing the country together with better education, infrastructure and high-tech programmes.