Alastair Campbell brands Corbyn a Brexiteer and says being in the Labour party is 'difficult'

Alastair Campbell brands Corbyn a Brexiteer and says being in the Labour party is 'difficult'

Monday, July 30, 2018

Alastair Campbell has said divisions within the Labour Party make him feel “tested” and has branded Jeremy Corbyn a dishonest Brexiteer.

Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer about the ongoing lack of agreement in government over a Brexit deal, he admitted that he was unhappy with the current state of the Labour party.

He also called Hartley-Brewer an "extremist" during the interview due to her pro-Brexit stance.

'I'm being tested'

“Are you going to leave the Labour Party?” asked Hartley-Brewer.

“I’m being tested for sure, I think a lot of people are,” he responded.

“I don’t want to leave the Labour party, it’s a party I still feel is the best vehicle for the change and values I believe in but when I see how Jeremy Corbyn spoke about Brexit where he seemed to be frankly echoing some Ukip lines, and when I see the way they’ve failed to deal with anti-Semitism, they make it very, very difficult.”

Last week, Corbyn gave a speech entitled ‘Build it in Britain’ in which he outlined Labour plans to manufacture more products in the UK to “help the regeneration of areas long forgotten by those in Whitehall or Westminster”.

He advocated negotiating a new UK-EU customs union and criticised Theresa May for “[seeming] more willing to listen to Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson”, both of whom are in favour of a hard Brexit.

'Corbyn is basically a Brexiteer and he should say so'

Campbell blamed Labour’s handling of Brexit for the fact they weren’t overtaking the Conservatives in the polls.

Two weeks ago, they were ahead at 41% with the Conservatives at 36%, but last week both parties were equal at 38%.

“It is quite incredible to me as somebody who helped the party go from being a losing party to one that won three elections in a row, that we’re facing the most incompetent, divided, useless government in living memory and they’re neck and neck in the polls with Labour.” Campbell said.

“Labour should be ten, 15, 20 points ahead, and the reason they’re not is they’ve not handled Brexit well.

“Jeremy Corbyn trying to face both ways is wrong, people have sensed he’s not actually being totally honest about his own views and position.

“He’s basically a Brexiteer, and he should just stand up and say so.”

'They blame other people' for anti-Semitism

He also criticised the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.

“These things don’t happen in a vacuum, they blame other people, they say it’s all about the media,” he said of the issue.

“Historically, for obvious reasons to do with the Holocaust, most anti-Semitism is generally to do with the right and the hard right, and it’s a horrible and potent force on the hard right.

“But there’s always been this element on the left that has deliberately conflated hatred of Israel with anti-Semitism. And that is just something that is intolerable.”

Last week, Labour MPs and peers unanimously voted to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which includes the line: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor”.

The Labour Party had been criticised for not previously adopting the full definition and leaving out four points that include Israel.

Watch the full interview above.