JEREMY Corbyn risks “betraying” and losing the support of millions of young people and students, a pro-People’s Vote youth campaign has claimed, after the Labour leader made clear that his party would continue to support Brexit if there were a snap general election.
The criticism from Richard Brooks, who co-founded For Our Future’s Sake, follows that from Labour MPs and activists.
He said: “Jeremy Corbyn is in danger of betraying and losing the support of millions of young people and students who very nearly propelled him to Downing St last year and whose support he needs if he is to ever become Prime Minister.
“Students and young people will not forget or forgive politicians who sell them down the river by backing a Brexit that limits our life opportunities and makes us poorer,” he added.
In an interview with The Guardian, the Labour leader made clear that even if his party won a snap general election in the New Year, he would seek to go to Brussels and try to secure a better deal in time to allow Brexit to go ahead on March 29.
“You’d have to go back and negotiate and see what the timetable would be,” he explained.
But his words sparked a backlash from a number of Remainer Labour MPs.
Edinburgh MP Ian Murray, the former Shadow Scottish Secretary, said Mr Corbyn’s stance was “utterly contemptuous of the party and a betrayal of the country”.
Chukka Umunna, the former Shadow Business Secretary, described the interview as “deeply depressing and disappointing” and declared: “Labour should stop pretending there is ‘good’ Brexit deal and we should certainly not be sponsoring this project because Brexit is the problem; it solves nothing.”
Michael Chessum, who worked on the Leader of the Opposition’s successful 2016 leadership campaign and served on Momentum’s first steering committee, said; “Jeremy has fought for decades for the right of members to decide policy and that is why many of us fought for him so hard.
“It is beyond me why he would now seemingly take a stance so completely at odds with both the will of members and the mandate of party conference.
“If a Left leadership is seen to thwart the will of members, this will do the left profound damage in the long run in Labour’s internal politics,” Mr Chessum added.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn told the Sunday Mirror he did not foresee support for a People’s Vote in Parliament.
When asked how he would vote in one, he told the paper: “It would depend what the question was but we’re quite far from that anyway and I’m not sure there’s the support for it in Parliament.
“The issue is protecting jobs, manufacturing and the rights and conditions we’ve got; not making us the bargain basement of Europe.”
The Labour leader also said he would make sure Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint was defeated in the Commons when it returned in January.
“I’m determined to hold this government to account, vote the deal down and reopen those negotiations,” he added.