Europe

Alastair Campbell expelled from Labour Party after voting Lib Dem

The Labour party has expelled its former communications chief Alastair Campbell.

The leading People’s Vote campaigner voted Lib Dem at the European elections because of the party’s stance on Brexit.

He took to Twitter to announce that the party had expelled him, saying he was ‘disappointed’ to get the email and would appeal the decision.

He wrote: ‘Sad and disappointed to receive email expelling me from @uklabour – particular on a day leadership finally seems to be moving to the right place on Brexit, not least thanks to tactical voting by party members, including MPs, councillors and peers who back @peoplesvote-uk.’

Mr Campbell added: ‘I am and always will be Labour. I voted Lib Dem, without advance publicity, to try to persuade Labour to do right thing for country/party. In light of appeal, I won’t be doing media on this. But hard not to point out difference in the way anti-Semitism cases have been handled.’

Mr Campbell was Tony Blair’s spin doctor and has been highly critical of Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit.

He said he believed the current leader was driving Labour into oblivion.

He said they were losing four times as many votes to Remain parties such as the Lib Dems and Greens than to the Brexit party.

Mr Campbell has long called for a People’s Vote and said Labour needed to have an official position on leaving the EU.

A Labour Party spokesman said ‘support for another political party or candidate is incompatible with Party membership’.

Mr Campbell, one of the key players in the New Labour era, insisted there was ‘plenty of precedent’ of members voting for other parties or causes and pointed out Jeremy Corbyn’s own rebellious past in Westminster votes during Mr Blair’s premiership.

Labour and the Tories were both heavily punished at the ballot box over Brexit in the European elections.

Mr Corbyn has been ignoring senior members of his team for refusing to fully commit to a second referendum.

Today, shadow home secretary Dianne Abbott said they were moving towards a ‘clearer line’ on the issue after losing to the Lib Dems on Sunday.

Labour deputy Tom Watson, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer have all called for a shift in stance to back a second referendum over Jeremy Corbyn’s preference for a general election.

Ms Abbott told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Now, at minutes to midnight on these negotiations, the Tories plunged into their leadership contest so we get no sense out of them for a few months, we think it’s important to foreground the People’s Vote.’

She added: ‘There is no inherent contradiction between respecting the result of the referendum and having a People’s Vote, not least because it’s still not sure how a People’s Vote would pan out.

‘I’ve always argued that it’s perfectly possible that Leave would win again but we’re supporting a People’s Vote strongly now because it’s the right thing to do and it’s the democratic thing to do.’

She went on: ‘Our position is that ideally we want a general election – if we can’t get a general election in time, we would support a People’s Vote.’

Mr Watson said they were punished in the elections for not backing either a Remain option or second referendum.

‘We’ve lost many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of potential votes in that election because we got it wrong,” he told the BBC.

‘The time is now to show some humility, to listen and to move very, very quickly.’

Mr McDonnell also moved to corner his boss, alongside Ms Abbott, saying Labour should back Remain in another poll.

He said: ‘We’re saying quite clearly if there can be a deal, great, but it needs to go back to the people.

‘If it’s a no deal we’ve got to block it and the one way of doing that is going back to the people and arguing the case against it because it could be catastrophic for our economy.’

Source: Read Full Article