IAN Austin MP has defended his decision to rebel against his party in the latest round of voting on Brexit amendments, citing his 'respect' for his constituents.

Mr Austin was one of 14 Labour rebels to vote against an amendment put forward by Yvette Cooper MP, which if passed which would have seen the extension of Article 50 in an attempt to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Defending his decision, Mr Austin said: “I respect the people I represent, our manifesto in 2017 promised to uphold the result of the referendum and I keep the promises I make.

“I think the public have given Parliament a job to do and we need to come up with a proper plan. I do not want to see us leave with no deal as I think this would have a severe impact on manufacturing and sectors like automotive and aerospace that provide so many jobs in the Black Country and the West Midlands.

“I think the way to avoid the current problems is to agree a plan, which is what I voted for, and why I have voted consistently against leaving with no deal.”

The amendment would have allowed MPs to set Prime Minister Theresa May a deadline of February 26 to gain Parliament's approval for a deal.

Labour MPs were ordered by the party leadership to support the amendment, but 14 chose to vote against, including Dudley North's Mr Austin.

17 Conservative rebels supported the amendment, despite being told to vote it down.

The amendment was ultimately defeated by 23 votes.

Had 12 Labour MPs voted in line with their party, the amendment would have passed.

Earlier this month, Mr Austin was one of three Labour MPs to back the Prime Minister's controversial Brexit deal.