Labour MP - who said party is not pro-Remain - now 'desperately worried' about losing Remainers
PUBLISHED: 14:52 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:00 01 May 2019
A Labour MP who claimed that Labour is 'not a Remain party' has now expressed concerns that it is losing Remainers after a series of member resignations.
It had been hoped that the leadership would provide a more positive line on a People's Vote as the country heads to the European elections, but instead the National Executive Committee endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's pro-Brexit message, which appears to keep a public vote option as a last resort.
Now Barry Gardiner, a member of the Labour frontbench, has said he is “desperately worried” about losing the support of Remainers after many turned to social media to announce their resignations.
That is despite recently telling anti-Brexit campaigners that Labour is “not a Remain party”.
He was grilled by LBC radio presenter, Iain Dale about the rise in resignations since the announcement on its manifesto.
Dale said: “Let me just read out this text, and I would say this is indicative of quite a few tweets I have seen today after this decision at the NEC.
“George says, 'I have quit Labour today, I gave them the benefit of the doubt so far, but I refuse to give them my support or money any more, they still want to push forward with Brexit. As a Remainer, how can I possibly vote for them. I am so damn angry right now. I hope the haemorrhage members as they have completely ignored us. I will be voting Green from now on.'
“Alastair Campbell told me a couple of weeks ago on the programme that if Labour didn't come out unreservedly for a People's Vote, he probably wouldn't vote Labour in the euro elections.
“Andrew Adonis told me back in September that he didn't want Brexiteers to vote Labour, as a candidate he has had to row back on that.
The shadow trade secretary said that he was now worried about Labour supporters “changing their view.”
He responded: “Iain, of course, I am worried. I am desperately worried.
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“Not just that I am worried about Labour supporters changing their view and vote elsewhere.
“I am worried about the country. I am worried that we have a deeply divided society.
“More than that, we have a Parliament that is deadlocked on this issue. That is why we are trying to find a way through.”
He added: “What George has said, I am a Remainer as well, if there were a second public vote, I would vote to Remain again.
“I campaigned to Remain, I feel that economically we would be better off. I try and follow the logic of the two principles and of our party policy. There are two principles, one of democracy,,, the other is the economic wellbeing of the people represent.”
Gardiner later told the station that Labour voters had already accepted that Brexit must be delivered by voting for a pro-Brexit 2017 general election manifesto.
Seperately a Labour MEP blamed the media for “overegging” divisions between the party for the outrage.
Jude Kirton-Darling told Radio 4: “I don't think it's a question of dividing the party. I think the division in the party is slightly overegged in the media debate.”