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Labour Leavers demand ‘apology’ from Keir Starmer for opposing Brexit

Sir Keir Starmer opens a debate on Brexit during the Labour Party's annual conference. - Credit: PA

A series of Brexiteers in the Labour Party are demanding an apology from Keir Starmer for opposing Brexit when he was in charge of the party’s policy.

The former Jeremy Corbyn frontbenchers say that Starmer cannot rebuild trust with “red wall” voters without “settling of accounts” on the issue.

Laura Smith, Jon Trickett, and Ian Lavery have claimed that Starmer is attempting to “whitewash” his position on Brexit after backing Remain.

Writing for the HuffPo, they said: “We would like to offer some comradely advice to the new leader.  

“Firstly, he should not bury under the carpet his role in Brexit. It will come back to bite him and Labour. Building trust is critical.  

“Secondly, to win back working people, he needs to listen. Focus groups only tell you what you want to hear.” 

“We do not believe that the party can move on until it has put this issue behind us. 

“For those who will say that the matter is behind us and we should move on, we say it will not do to whitewash or to ignore the recent past.”

They said Labour voters “all deserve an explanation” for moving the party towards a second referendum and said it had caused issues with campaigners on the doorsteps.

They add: “It must be a settling of accounts with Leavers, of course – but also with the Remainers, some of whom were falsely led to believe that we might be able to Remain.

“And we must apologise to our activists who often had very difficult encounters on the doorsteps. We must pledge not to attempt to overturn a similar democratic vote in the way we did.” 

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