Straight talking honest politics? Corbyn dodges Brexit question SIX times

PUBLISHED: 09:11 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:06 22 August 2018

Jeremy Corbyn's first Labour Party conference as leader. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Jeremy Corbyn's first Labour Party conference as leader. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

2015 Getty Images

Jeremy Corbyn was asked six times whether he believed Britain would be better off outside the EU – and failed to answer each time.

The Labour leader - who had the motto “straight talking honest politics” at his first party conference - instead said he wanted Britain to have a “good relationship with the European Union”, adding: “That’s what we have to have in order to maintain jobs in manufacturing supply chains and food processing”.

“That has to be the priority now, so we have that effective trading relationship including the customs union with the European Union”.

But the reporter continued to press Corbyn five more times, telling him he had been told he could only have one question and that he would “very much like” the Labour leader to answer it.

On the sixth time, he replied: “I’ve answered your question five times and for the sixth time I will say this to you: the Labour priority is to negotiate a trading relationship with the European Union, to protect jobs and to defend the living standards that we have through regulation but also to make sure that the jobs in the manufacturing industry and the food supply chain are protected”.

The Channel 4 News clip – which has gone viral on social media – has led to Remainer MPs to renew calls urging him stop backing a “dreadful Brexit”.

Asked about Corbyn’s interview, Labour MP Chuka Umunna said: “It is absolutely clear that under every scenario out of the European Union Britain and in particular so many of the areas that voted usually for Labour that our country will be worse off as a result of us leaving the European Union - that is a fact”.

The Remain-supporting MP added: “What the Labour Party needs to do is stop backing this dreadful Brexit and live up to its values, and that requires us to be arguing for a people’s vote because there’s deadlock in Westminster, there’s no agreement on how Brexit should proceed and therefore this needs to be referenced back to the people.

“And that is what people want to hear from their Labour leader”.

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