Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has sacked his shadow foreign secretary over reports he was planning to spearhead a coup against him.

In a midnight telephone call, Corbyn told Hilary Benn he was kicking him out of the top team.

It follows claims in the Observer that Benn called fellow Labour MPs over the weekend to take soundings about a putsch.

"Jeremy has sacked him on the grounds that he has lost confidence in him," a Labour spokesman said.