EXCL Labour officials quit their posts with blast at Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit

Posted On: 
7th May 2019

Senior Labour officials have quit their posts in disillusion at the party's position on Brexit.

Labour lost seats across the country in the local elections.
Credit: 
PA Images

Aaron Austin Locke and Robert McIntosh announced their resignation as the top two office bearers in the Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven constituency Labour party in an email to local members.

They said they were unhappy with the party's failure to fully endorse another referendum on any Brexit deal passed by the House of Commons.

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The move came after Labour clung on to power on Brighton and Hove Council in last week's local elections, despite a surge in support for the Green Party.

Labour lost more than 60 council seats across the country as both the anti-Brexit Lib Dems and Greens enjoyed successful nights.

In his email, which has been seen by PoliticsHome, CLP chair Mr Locke said he was "saddened at the reaction of the national party that we must 'fix' Brexit' in the wake of the elections.

Jeremy Corbyn has said that the results showed voters wanted Labour and the Government to finally agree a deal to take the UK out of the EU.

But Mr Locke said: "I do not regret voting for Jeremy Corbyn twice and I champion that we are now an anti-austerity party. Yet in three areas I admit to being disillusioned, angry and feeling foolish that I thought that things could change.

"For me, Corbyn has failed to deliver his three key promises: 1) He is not offering straight-talking or honest politics. 2) He is not listening to members on key constitutional issues (on Europe and beyond). 3) He has not democratised the Labour party to the extent that it needs at its grass roots.

"The upshot is that after fighting for three years against all the odds (even nay-sayers in my own party), I am considering my future as a Labour party activist. I will find it difficult to campaign for a party or persons who are not explicit in their support for our EU membership, for open borders and freedom of movement."

Mr McIntosh, who was CLP secretary, said in his email: "The results of the local elections in Brighton and Hove and across the country were very disappinting. I believe we lost the chance of making the gains we should have done when the NEC (Labour's national executive council) failed to endorse, unequivocally, a policy of a confirmatory vote on our leaving the EU."

Labour frontbenchers will resume negotiations with ministers on Tuesday aimed at agreeing a Brexit deal which can be passed by the Commons.