Labour MPs tell Jeremy Corbyn: Pull your weight in EU referendum campaign

Posted On: 
10th April 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has been warned by a group of senior Labour MPs that he could be held personally responsible if the UK votes to leave the European Union.

Jeremy Corbyn has been told he must pull his weight in the EU referendum campaign.
PA Images

Mr Corbyn was forced to clarify that he would support the campaign to remain inside the EU in the early days of his leadership, after a number of ambiguous statements about Brussels in the past.

Labour has suggested its leader will step up his contribution, especially after the local and assembly elections in May.

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But he is now coming under pressure from his own party to do more.

In a piece for the Observer, Chris Leslie, Emma Reynolds, Ben Bradshaw and Adrian Bailey – MPs who have held the posts of Shadow Chancellor, Shadow Europe Minister, Culture Secretary, and chairman of the BIS Committee respectively – argue Mr Corbyn should make the EU vote his “overriding priority”.

And they warn he will be held to account if he fails to do so.

“If we remain in the European Union, this will be down in no small part to the votes of Labour supporters, something for which our party can legitimately take much of the credit,” they wrote.

“But if the British public vote to leave the EU, we will only have ourselves to blame – and many will naturally ask whether leaders of our main political parties did enough to pull their weight.

“The fate of our country’s future isn’t just in the hands of the Prime Minister, but also the leader of the Labour party.

"We need Jeremy to convey that urgency and set out with force the issues at stake.

"The time is now for Labour’s leadership to stand up and not to stand by.”