Emily Thornberry speech applauded as she breaks from script to urge party to back Remain

Emily Thornberry receives applause for her conference speech. Photograph: TNE.

Emily Thornberry receives applause for her conference speech. Photograph: TNE. - Credit: Archant

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has been applauded for breaking from her script to urge the Labour Party to back Remain.

In scenes that will irritate the Labour leadership, Thornberry urged members at conference to vote for the pro-Remain motion presented at conference, rather than the NEC's motion which would have allowed Jeremy Corbyn to delay a decision until after a general election.

She also committed herself to campaigning to keeping the UK in the European Union if a second vote takes place.

She said: "As Peter Kyle [Labour MP for Hove] has said, we must fight with every fibre of our beings to say between now and October 31, and afterwards if there is a general election, that any terms of departure, from any government, must go back to the people for the final say.

"They should have the option to Remain, and I for one will be out there campaigning to remain."

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In the conclusion of her speech the Labour MP for Islington North told activists: "With your endorsement today, conference, with the instructions that I hope you give us today, I believe we must strive night and day, whatever it takes, to keep Britain in the European Union."

The Labour frontbencher also used her speech to hit out at Boris Johnson.

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"In my entire time in parliament, I have never shadowed anyone so lazy, so incompetent, so deceitful and reckless, so utterly unsuited to the job of prime minister," she told a packed out hall in Brighton.

Thornberry was one of several frontbenchers to join the People's Vote rally to Remain outside Labour conference over the weekend.

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