5 Days Remaining

Thursday 9th
posted by Luke James in Britain

‘We’re not fighting the same fight on EU’

LABOUR will not call a truce and campaign alongside the Tories in the final weeks of the EU referendum campaign — no matter how close the polls get, a party spokesman vowed yesterday.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn has faced calls to put on a display of party unity in favour of a Remain vote by sharing a platform with Prime Minister David Cameron before the historic poll on June 23.

But a Labour source said taking part in cross-party campaigning under the Britain Stronger In umbrella risked “confusing the message” to its supporters.

“Our position is that the Labour In campaign is wholly separate to David Cameron’s campaign,” he told a weekly press conference in Parliament.

“It’s about the issues that matter to working people and Labour voters.

“And I can be clear on this: There is going to be no time in the next two weeks where Jeremy Corbyn will share a platform with the Tory campaign.”

Mr Corbyn was in no mood to go easy on Mr Cameron over the EU yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions.

He highlighted divisions within the Tory party over the EU by demanding to know if Employment Minister Priti Patel’s call to “halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation” after Brexit was the position of the government.

He also won commitments from the Prime Minister for new EU legislation to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers and to close tax loopholes.

Asked whether Mr Corbyn should have been “more collegiate” so close to the referendum, his spokesman said: “We don’t think we should be collegiate with the Tories.

“Jeremy was highlighting the threat to workers’ rights … we’re right to worry about that.”

The Labour spokesman also all but ruled out the prospect of Mr Corbyn campaigning alongside Tony Blair after the toxic former Labour leader launched another full-frontal assault on his successor.

Mr Blair said that Mr Corbyn represented the “politics of protect” in an interview with finance website Bloomberg.

Hitting back, Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said: “Jeremy is leading the opposition and building support against a Conservative government.

I think Tony Blair has been involved in the Stronger In campaign. We’re not sharing any platforms with the Stronger In campaign or platforms with Tories.

“There are no plans to share a platform with Tony Blair.”

Mr Corbyn will be back on the referendum campaign trail today in Birmingham before going to Scotland at the weekend.

It was also confirmed yesterday that he will take part in his first set-piece television event of the campaign on June 20 when he faces questions from a live studio audience on Sky News.