Not voting Labour will let Nigel Farage win, warns party’s deputy
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Labour's deputy leader said not voting for his party in the European elections will give Nigel Farage a win, and has reached out to Remainers by saying its agenda is to 'remain and reform' in Europe.
Tom Watson is expected to plead in a speech at the Fabian Society for supporters to back Labour in the polls next week.
"There are only two forces that can win this election - that nasty nationalism of the Farage Brexit Party, or the tolerant, compassionate outward looking patriotism of the Labour Party," Watson will say.
"I can only plead with Labour supporters - don't stay at home, don't put that cross elsewhere, don't let them win."
Speaking before the speech, he told Radio 4's Today programme: "The difficulty is just parliamentary arithmetic and Keir Starmer has alluded to this today as well, and John McDonnell did last week.
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"The whipping arrangements for these deals is very difficult because MPs have hardened their positions within their parties so I think it would be very difficult."
"If a deal could be found that inspires enough votes in Westminster then fine, but it seemed to me that that's very, very difficult.
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"And so my idea of a confirmatory ballot is not a religious point or a point of ideology, it's just how do you get an outcome, how do you sort this out?
"And one way to do it are these two minority positions - the prime minister's deal and those that think the people should have a say on the deal - plug them together and you build a majority."
Interim CEO of Best for Britain Naomi Smith said it would be a "stitch-up" not to have a confirmatory vote.
"It would be an unacceptable outcome for the future of our country to have been stitched-up in a dark meeting room.
"These talks won't work unless there's a commitment to giving the people a final say.
"Parties of all stripes must now make this a reality. The public's call for sign off on this awful Brexit process must be respected and delivered."
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