UK – Jeremy Corbyn, fighting with his party members!
There is trouble brewing in Britain’s main opposition party, Labour, over Brexit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces a revolt from his own supporters, over his support for government’s plans on Brexit.
Many top members of Corbyn’s team have considered resigning, such as the shadow Welsh secretary, Jo Stevens. A critical open letter to the Labour Party leader signed by over 2,000 members of the Labour Party has been doing the rounds. This letter accuses Corbyn of betraying the socialist values of his party.
The letter states: “In short, we are the grassroots that you have always been keen to represent. All of us share core Labour values of equality and opportunity for all, and we share a belief in fighting for social justice. And while we may differ in our beliefs and feelings with regards to your leadership, we are nevertheless united in our belief that you and your leadership team have made the wrong call on the party’s policy on Brexit.”
The letter adds: “Additionally, many of us voted for you as our leader because of your desire to make the Labour party more democratic, with policy being set by members. At Labour party conference 2016, it was resolved that ‘Unless the final [Brexit] settlement proves to be acceptable, then the option of retaining EU membership should be retained. The final settlement should therefore be subject to approval, through parliament and potentially through a general election or referendum.’ We believe that this exemplar of democracy within the party should no longer be ignored. Let us speak with one voice, as democratically made by our members.”
Jeremy Corbyn has had a tough time managing the Labour Party since taking over as the leader just over 18 months ago. A top confidante of Corbyn, Clive Lewis, who is considered very close to Corbyn, has said that he is against Corbyn’s support for the government as well.
Lewis wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted Britain to have “the closest relationship to Europe and the single market as is possible, protect worker rights, have proper report-back mechanisms on the negotiations, and have final say over the eventual negotiated deal. If the government does not accept these amendments, I will vote against triggering article 50 at the third and final vote.”
David Lammy, a top Labour Party MP for Tottenham, said: “It is shockingly bad politics. Everyone understands Labour voters are split down the middle over Brexit – north and south, middle class and working class, young and old – but so too are the Tories.
“By taking a side and not allowing MPs to vote with their conscience, Labour’s leadership is forcing an exodus of Remain voters and members. A hard Brexit of the type that the Tories are set on pursuing will hurt Labour supporters and people in Labour areas, so of course there is real concern among colleagues,” Lammy added.
Another Labour leader who prefers to be anonymous said: “This is not easy for Jeremy and I feel sorry for him. But the way it has been handled is corroding our support. It is falling away fast.”
Chris Leslie, a young Labour MP for Nottingham East, said that Corbyn had lost the confidence of his party. He said, “There is a very noticeable change of mood among many members who joined recently to support Jeremy. It is surprising, given that he backs giving the membership a say and did so over military action in Syria, that he does not do the same over article 50.”
Author: Raghav Hegde – India