Labour's former joke-writer says Jeremy Corbyn is wrong on Brexit vote

'Brexit is a big opportunity for Labour to talk to people and bring the country together', says former adviser

Jeremy Corbyn has issued a three-line whip

Friday, January 27, 2017

The woman who once wrote jokes for Labour MP Harriet Harman has given talkRADIO her take on Brexit - and criticised the stance taken by Jeremy Corbyn.

Ayesha Hazarika, who also served as a special adviser to Ed Miliband and is now a stand-up comedian, said she sympathises with the Labour leader's decision to impose a three-line whip and order MPs to back the triggering of Article 50.

However, she added that she wouldn't have taken such a firm line on the matter.

Two Labour whips, Jeff Smith and Thangam Debbonaire - whose job theoretically requires them to ensure the leader's directives are adhered to - have said they will not vote in favour of triggering Article 50, in direct defiance of Corbyn.

Hazarika told Yasmeen Khan: “I actually think [Corbyn's] position is sensible, but I wouldn’t have whipped the vote. I think Jeremy Corbyn should have given a free vote to people.

“Instead of trying to block this, I think it’s far more useful for people to use their efforts to make sure we don’t have a hard Brexit.

“I think Brexit could be a big opportunity for Labour to go out and speak to people. Try and bring the country back together, try and find out what it is that made people vote leave."

Listen to the full interview above