EXCL Alastair Campbell: I would find it 'very difficult' to vote Labour if it doesn't try to stop Brexit

Posted On: 
20th September 2018

Alastair Campbell has said he would find it "very difficult" to vote Labour at the next election if it does not try to stop Britain leaving the European Union.

Alastair Campbell was Tony Blair's director on communications in Downing Street.
Credit: 
PA Images

Tony Blair's former spin doctor, a lifelong Labour voter and a party member, said it would be "electorally really damaging" for Jeremy Corbyn if they do not come out in favour of a referendum on the Brexit deal.

Speaking to the PoliticsHome podcast, Mr Campbell - now a key figure in the so-called 'People's Vote' campaign - also said Labour should be "streets ahead" of the Conservatives in the opinion polls if it is to stand a chance of wiining a majority at the next election.

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"I voted Labour last time, Keir Starmer's my MP, I can't pretend I'm 100% happy with the way he's done things, but he's in a difficult position," he said.

Asked if he would vote Labour at the next election, Mr Campbell said: "I think a lot depends on what happens between now and then. If I feel the Labour party facilitates Brexit, doesn't do enough to stop Brexit, particularly this vicious right-wing Brexit scenario coming down the track, then I think it would be very difficult. I'd like to, I'm still a member of the Labour party."

He also insisted his vote would not depend on whether Jeremy Corbyn was still Labour leader come the next election.

"I do have concerns and you know what they are, but I'd rather have a Labour government than a Tory government and I do think this government is hopeless.

"But when I hear the Labour party after the last local elections saying things to me like 'well if only you people got behind it we could win this', and I say look, look at the results, you're not where you need to be. It's not because of people like me, it's because the public are not seeing what you're saying it is that's going to transform their lives.

"People can say what they like about New Labour, we never lost sight of the public. It was ultimately about them.

"So I think this government's a mess, if Labour's going to form a majority after the next election they should be streets ahead of this lot, they're hopeless."

He added: "Obviously it's incredibly important who the Prime Minister is and it's incredibly important which party's in power, but at the moment when I wake up in the morning I'm thinking about Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in the context of Brexit - what can we all do to persuade them both to move?

"Labour in my view has got to move and I think it's electorally really damaging for Labour if they don't on the People's Vote. And if he (Corbyn) came out and led on it with conviction, in the way that he didn't do in the referendum, I think that could help them a lot."

* Listen to the full interview with Alastair Campbell on the latest PoliticsHome Podcast HERE or download it from wherever you get your podcasts.