Diane Abbott becomes the latest Labour figure to speak out against party position on Brexit
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Diane Abbott has become the latest shadow cabinet figure to publicly express concerns about the party's policy on Brexit.
The shadow home secretary - one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies - tweeted she was "beginning to worry" whether the party had got its strategy right.
Her intervention will add to the pressure on the Labour leader to fully embrace a second EU referendum - something he has so far resisted.
It follows a reportedly fractious shadow cabinet meeting when Corbyn again delayed a decision on whether the party needed to change course.
Following Labour's dismal showing in last month's European elections, deputy leader Tom Watson and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry have both publicly called for the party to come out in favour of another public vote.
You may also want to watch:
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, another of Corbyn's close allies, is also reported to have voiced frustration at the continuing stalemate on the issue.
Responding on Twitter to a tweet expressing concern about Labour's stance, Abbott said: "Like you I have supported Labour's Brexit strategy so far. But like you I am beginning to worry..."
- 1 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
- 2 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 3 Tory minister branded 'disgraceful' after dismissing child hunger in Britain as something that has 'been going on for years'
- 4 Fool's gold? Nigel Farage wants you to invest your trust in his financial advice service
- 5 UK Business leaders describe Brexit call with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove as 'pointless'
- 6 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 7 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 8 The deep roots of Dominic Cummings' personal antipathy to the BBC
- 9 House of Lords defies No 10 and votes to heavily defeat Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 10 PMQs Review: The one where it was grim up north
But with many voters in Labour's traditional heartlands strongly supporting Brexit, a party source said there were "no easy answers" as to the way forward.
"Jeremy is trying to bring the whole movement together around a common position on this deeply polarising issue," the source said.
"No-one should pretend there are any easy answers."
When asked whether he agreed, Corbyn simply said: "No."
He said: "Hunt and Johnson are vying with each other about who can be the most hair-shirted on leaving the EU without a deal - it would be devastating for jobs, for industry, for services all across this country."
Corbyn added: "We will come to a definitive position so that we go into conference absolutely agreed on this, but let's be clear: Labour will do everything we can to stop a no-deal exit, a catastrophic exit from the EU."
Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said that "Labour needs to be the stop Brexit party".
She continued: "It's as simple as that.
"Labour members and voters are crying out for the party to oppose Brexit. Diane Abbott won't be the only Labour MP worrying about the party's unclear position on this.
"The party is bleeding remain support and needs to act quickly to stop the rot."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.