Political heavyweights join forces for anti-Brexit rally

PUBLISHED: 16:56 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 18 July 2019

Michael Heseltine, left, and Margaret Beckett, right, have joined forces. Picture: Archant

Michael Heseltine, left, and Margaret Beckett, right, have joined forces. Picture: Archant

Archant

Rival political heavyweights have put aside their differences to join forces for a People's Vote rally.

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Mitch Benn at the People's Vote rally in Cheltenham. Photograph: People's Vote.Mitch Benn at the People's Vote rally in Cheltenham. Photograph: People's Vote.

Michael Heseltine, the former Tory deputy prime minister, and Margaret Beckett, former deputy Labour leader and foreign secretary, have spent their political careers on opposite sides of the debate.

But they will come together to speak at the latest People's Vote 'Let Us Be Heard' rally in Derby.

Lord Heseltine will say: "I have known Margaret Beckett for decades and I know she can be a formidable opponent.

"But just as Brexit is dividing the country, it is uniting former opponents like us. We have spent so much of our lives on different sides.

"But now there are different choices to be made. You can choose to be on the side of those selling the country down the river. Or you can choose to be on the aide of those standing up for the national interest.

"These are grave times for our country and for our democracy. Inflicting Brexit on Derby and the country without their express permission is not democratic."

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Joining them will be the leader of the Independent Group for Change Anna Soubry MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords, Lord Richard Newby and former leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett.

Dame Margaret Beckett, Labour MP for Derby South, will say: "This Brexit crisis has now come down to a simple question about democracy: can we allow a destructive Brexit to be forced on all of us, without all of us having the final say?

"Our answer to this question will directly impact on our jobs, our families and cities like ours for generations to come.

"Michael Heseltine and I have had our differences over the years but we are together today on this same platform because we know the stakes are so huge they dwarf anything that may have driven us apart before.

"No-one in Derby voted for a great nation like Britain having to bend our knee to bullies like Donald Trump who last week effectively sacked our ambassador to Washington.

"Brexit is far too big to be left to just 160,000 members of the Conservative Party, representing 0.25% of the population. That's why the only way to deliver a lasting and stable conclusion to this crisis is to give the public the final say through a People's Vote."

The rally will take place at Northcliffe House, Meadow Lane, Derby at 6pm on July 18.

It is one of a series of rallies under the 'Let us Be Heard' banner, taking place throughout the summer and autumn and culminating in a march on parliament in London in October.

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