John McTernan has said Jeremy Corbyn “did not take his moment” to make a stand on the Brexit debate after the 2017 election.
The former Political Secretary for Tony Blair told talkRADIO’s James Max that two years’ on the Labour leader has “lost a lot of his political currency”.
“Jeremy Corbyn had immense political capital, he was briefly the face of a new type of doing politics. It could have been the ways in which he generated that hope and optimism from young people,” he said.
“Focus groups say we used to think he was different but now he’s just a politician like any other.”
Mr McTernan said many people “would love to support” a Labour Party focused on stopping a no-deal Brexit, but were unable to do so because of Mr Corbyn’s “character, his convictions, his politics.”
He also raised the ongoing issue of antisemitism accusations inside Labour, which he said was “brought into the Labour Party” under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
“You have to create an elaborate architectural argument to say it’s nothing to do with Jeremy Corbyn. That the party is free of antisemitism, then he becomes leader and now it’s dogged by antisemitism,” he said.
Mr Corbyn has spoken in Northamptonshire and accused the Conservative Party of having “failed our country”.
He said a general election triggered by Brexit will create a “crossroads” for Britain and a “once-in-a-generation chance for real change”.
“If there is a general election this autumn, Labour would commit to holding a public vote, to give voters the final say, with credible options for both sides, including the option to remain,” he said.