Lord Hain accuses Jeremy Corbyn of 'Stalinist purge' over Owen Smith sacking
3 min read
A former Labour Cabinet minister has criticised Jeremy Corbyn after he sacked Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Smith over his calls for a second EU referendum.
Writing in The Guardian yesterday, Mr Smith said Labour must offer another vote to “properly serve our democracy” - defying Mr Corbyn's opposition to a fresh poll.
He said: "Given that it is increasingly obvious that the promises the Brexiters made to the voters – especially, but not only, their pledge of an additional £350m a week for the NHS – are never going to be honoured, we have the right to keep asking if Brexit remains the right choice for the country.
"And to ask, too, that the country has a vote on whether to accept the terms, and true costs of that choice, once they are clear."
The Labour leader replaced Mr Smith in his Shadow Cabinet with veteran MP Tony Lloyd.
Lord Hain, who served as Northern Ireland Secretary under Tony Blair, accused Mr Corbyn leader of “a Stalinist purge”.
Other senior Labour figures also criticised Mr Corbyn's actions.
But Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said there was no place for Mr Smith on the Labour frontbench while he opposed official party policy.
Labour has come under fire for a often muddled and contradictory Brexit policy – however, it remains committed to leaving the bloc.
In a tweet, Mr Smith said he was being sacked for “my long held views on the damage Brexit will do to the Good Friday Agreement and the economy of the entire UK.
“Those views are shared by Labour members & supporters and I will continue to speak up for them, and in the interest of our country.”
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