Brexit fallout: Labour insiders leak documents, accuse Corbyn of undermining Remain campaign
Critics from within the Labour party leaked documents to both the Huffington Post UK and the BBC in an effort to demonstrate that Corbyn and his inner circle repeatedly went out of their way to deliver watered-down support for the LabourIN campaign.
Almost immediately after the Brexit result was revealed, Labour MPs began criticizing Corbyn’s leadership and calling for his resignation.
The leader’s middle-of-the-night sacking of Hilary Benn - who was reportedly planning a coup against Corbyn - coupled with allegedly poor efforts to promote the party’s IN campaign has led to multiple members of the shadow cabinet resigning their posts.
Corbyn has now lost a quarter of his front bench to resignations, with Lord Falconer amongst the latest to quit. More are expected to leave ahead of the motion of no confidence in his leadership due to take place next week.
One leaked email from Corbyn’s office, passed on to the BBC, suggests that his director of strategy and communications, Seumas Milne, was behind the leader’s continuing reluctance to throw his full support behind the IN campaign.
“If he can't kill it, he will water it down so much to hope nobody notices it," read the email discussing Milne’s interference with one of Corbyn’s speeches.
The phrase ‘That’s why I am campaigning to remain in the EU’ was deleted from multiple speeches Corbyn made outside of the LabourIN campaign, reports the Huffington Post UK.
Corbyn’s office declined numerous invitations to meet with former leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who had both attempted to unite the Labour party to “save Britain from Brexit,” the sources claim.
A critic within the party alleged that the head of the LabourIN campaign, Alan Johnson, asked to meet with Corbyn but was told by his team that he was unable to meet until July, according to the HuffPost.
Other alleged instances included Corbyn’s keynote speech at Ecotricity in May in which his team had promised to include “pro-Remain content,” all of which was reportedly removed. The BBC claim emails from the leader’s office read: “What is going on here?” and “there is no EU content here - we agreed to have Europe content in it.”
On another occasion, Corbyn’s office backed out on a promise to give journalists pro-EU comments for the Sunday newspapers ahead of the vote, sources claimed.
A film that was shown at Corbyn’s final speech before voters went to the polls was also reportedly edited to remove any references by Deputy Leader Tom Watson to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, reports the HuffPost.
Photographs of Corbyn’s EU planning diary leaked to the HuffPost appear to show few EU events as his team allegedly encouraged the leader to avoid LabourIN events, instead choosing to focus on Trade Union meetings and rallies.
A party spokesman called the criticism “laughable” and said Corbyn and his team “worked hard to get out his message.”
“The results of the referendum show that Jeremy’s views were in tune with the people, and he is the only politician who can now heal the divides,” said the representative. “The motives of the people making the claims are obviously questionable.”