Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of trying to consistently “weaken and sabotage” Labour’s campaign to keep Britain inside the EU by one of his own MPs, who was heavily involved in the effort.
Phil Wilson, who chaired the Labour In For Britain parliamentary group, said the Labour leader should resign for failing to provide direction and “lead from the front” during the referendum campaign.
Writing in the Guardian, Wilson said: “It was clear last summer that Jeremy was only ever partially interested in keeping Britain in Europe and an honourable leader would bear the responsibility for the failure to persuade Labour voters to vote remain.”
He said: “He himself issued a note to all MPs on 17 September 2015 telling them that Labour would campaign to remain in the European Union. And yet he decided to go on holiday in the middle of the campaign. Did not visit the Labour heartlands of the north-east and raised esoteric issues such as TTIP which had no resonance on the doorstep.”
Wilson said the “greatest betrayal and final straw” for him and many colleagues was evidence handed over by “unimpeachably neutral Labour in [for Britain] staff” that Corbyn’s office – “for which he must take full responsibility, consistently attempted to weaken and sabotage the Labour remain campaign. For example, they resisted all polling and focus group evidence on message and tone, raised no campaign finance, failed to engage with the campaign delivery and deliberately weakened and damaged the argument Labour sought to make.”
Corbyn’s spokesman has categorically denied any attempts of sabotage, insisting that the Labour leader put his heart and soul into the campaign.
A source close to the leader said: “Jeremy Corbyn and his team worked hard for the Labour in campaign. Jeremy made numerous appearances, countless speeches and a host of statements and ended up being the politician closest to the tone of the nation. The motivation of individuals making the allegations is questionable.”