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Tony Blair: A post-Brexit Jeremy Corbyn government would be bad for Britain

Tony Blair: A post-Brexit Jeremy Corbyn government would be bad for Britain
2 min read

Tony Blair has claimed that an "unreconstructed leftist" Labour government after Brexit would be a disaster.

The former Labour leader congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on the election campaign he fought, but insisted his "backward-looking anti-business" programme would be bad for Britain.

Mr Blair also hinted that a new party could be formed to appeal to the "millions" of centrist voters - but insisted he did not support it.

The ex-Prime Minister spoke out as he again insisted that Brexit could be avoided if pro-EU politicians convince voters that it will be bad for the country.

"The risk is that we have a Brexit followed by an unreconstructed, leftist programme from Labour, and if you combine those two things together, in my view we would be in a very serious situation as a country," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

Labour defied expectations in June's election, gaining 30 seats and denying Theresa May a Commons majority. But Mr Blair said that was not a vindication of Mr Corbyn's left-wing views.

"I take my hat off to the way he fought the campaign and the enthusiasm he generated - but it doesn't make that programme right," he said.

"I still think there are many millions of people in the country who want the changes that make our country fairer, that gives a heightened degree of support for social justice and greater social cohesion, but does so in a way that is modern and progressive and not backward-looking, either by going anti-immigrant on the right or anti-business on the left."

Asked about the prospect of a new political party, Mr Blair said: "I've never wanted a new political party, I've always wanted the Labour party to come back to a position where it can win an election.

"There is a huge amount of political energy out there in the country that is searching for a home. If the two main parties don't give it a home, it's going to search for a different home. 

"If you combine Brexit with the Corbyn programme unreconstructed, then I think we've got  a serious problem. Yes, there's a lot of anger, but give people an answer."

"Brexit on the one side, anti-business old fashioned leftist programmes on the other - they may ride the anger, but they don't provide the answer."

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