LABOUR has attempted to distance itself from comments made by one of its MPs about employment minister and Wirral West MP Esther McVey being lynched.

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell is reported to have made the remarks during a comedy night attended by left-wing activists and fellow Labour politicians.

Tory chairman Grant Shapps called on Labour to withdraw the whip from the Greater London MP following the "sickening demand - in public - for a violent attack on a female Member of Parliament".

Labour said Mr McDonnell's views "don't represent" those of the party.

The Daily Mail reported that Mr McDonnell made the comments at an event organised by the Stop the War Coalition on Remembrance Sunday.

Mr McDonnell reportedly said: "I was up in Liverpool a fortnight ago where Alec McFadden, one of our (union) organisers, launched the Sack Esther McVey Day on her birthday.

"I spoke at a packed public meeting ... there was a whole group in the audience that completely kicked off quite critical of the whole concept, because they were arguing 'Why are sacking her? Why aren't we lynching the bastard?'"

A Labour spokesman said: "John McDonnell's comments, if accurately reported, don't represent the views of the Labour Party. He speaks for himself."

Mr McDonnell said he regarded the "Daily Mail having a go at me" as a "badge of honour".

He added: "All I'm saying is don't blame me for simply repeating what some of Esther McVey's constituents have said at a public meeting."

Mr Shapps wrote to Labour leader Ed Miliband condemning Mr McDonnell's comments and demanding a formal apology.

He said: "Labour must withdraw the whip from John McDonnell and must do it right now, while you investigate.

"John McDonnell should also formally apologise to Esther McVey, and to Parliament, at the earliest opportunity.

"If you fail to take immediate action, the public will reach their own conclusions about your leadership."