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Thu, 3 December 2020

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Labour civil war erupts over Theresa May 'cash for votes offer' on Brexit deal

Labour civil war erupts over Theresa May 'cash for votes offer' on Brexit deal

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Labour MPs descended into civil war today after reports emerged that Theresa May could offer cash to their Leave-backing seats in exchange for voting through her Brexit deal.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said his colleagues would be “cowards and facilitators” if they took the funds and warned them that “history will be brutal”.

His colleagues Wes Streeting and Angela Eagle also weighed in to urge their fellow MPs not to trust the Prime Minister, noting that their actions will “never be forgiven and never be forgivable”.

The Times reported that coalfield communities could get a local cash boost if they side with the Government when Mrs May brings her Brexit deal back to the Commons.

Pro-Brexit Labour MP John Mann said: “Show us the money. A fund of sufficient size to transform our communities. Our areas voted Leave and it is time that we had the investment we need.”

But his colleagues rounded on the reports and issued stark warnings against taking any money from the Government in exchange for their votes.

Mr Lammy, who wants a second EU referendum, said of the pro-Leave Labour MPs on Twitter: “More fool them. Socialists my arse. Cowards and facilitators. History will be brutal.”

His colleague Wes Streeting, speaking on behalf of the People’s Vote campaign, urged Labour figures not to “align themselves with the likes of Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith and Priti Patel on Brexit”.

He said doing so “would be a mistake that would rank alongside Ramsay MacDonald’s 1931 creation of a ‘National’ Government. It would never be forgiven and never be forgivable”.

And Angela Eagle, the Wallasey MP, warned her colleagues: “You can’t trust her - she won’t deliver. She has zero credibility and a record of inflicting appalling cuts on the most vulnerable areas.”

A number of Labour MPs whose constituencies voted overwhelminigly to quit the EU angered colleagues earlier this week by failing to back a Commons bid to block a no-deal Brexit.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister this morning appeared to confirm some of them had been offered money for their seats but said he “absolutely wouldn’t characterise it” as cash for votes.

He added: “The Prime Minister has a long-standing commitment to tackling inequalities between communities.

“We are determined to lead a programme of national renewal post-Brexit by rebuilding and reconnecting communities, driving prosperity and unleashing the potential and creativity of hard-working people in every part of our country."

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