Earlier this week the SKWAWKBOX published a simple graphic that illustrated the logic and intelligence of Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to impose a ‘3-line whip’ on Labour MPs to support the first reading of the government’s flawed and rushed bill to authorise the ‘Article 50’ declaration to trigger the process of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Subsequent to that article – and also independently from it – this blog has been asked on dozens of occasions by Labour members, supporters and even MPs how Corbyn can achieve the excellent amendments Labour is planning, if the Tories know that he will support the bill ‘no matter what’, as he has been reported as saying.
For example, the Guardian has claimed that:
Similar reports have appeared in the right-wing press, with the only difference being they, of course, welcome it.
Of course, it’s a fair question – as long as the reports are correct. Labour would have little leverage for obtaining the amendments they want in order to protect ordinary people if the Tories think they’ll support the bill even without the amendments.
But are those reports correct?
Today, Jeremy Corbyn was in Liverpool for a Labour economics forum then, this evening, was in the Garston village area of the city to support Labour candidate for Liverpool’s ‘Metro Mayor’, Steve Rotheram and spoke to a large audience about Labour’s policies and his vision.
This author travelled to the event and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak to the Labour leader in the ‘no public access’ area at the end of the evening, to put the question to him directly:
“Jeremy, the SKWAWKBOX has written positively about your approach to the Article 50 bill but a lot of people are asking how you can force the government to accept Labour’s amendments when the media and even some MPs are claiming that you’ve said you’re going to impose a three-line whip on MPs to support the bill ‘no matter what’. What can the blog say to your supporters who are confused by what they’re hearing and reading?“
.And the reply was unequivocal:
That’s not what I’ve said and that’s not what I’ll do. We’ll take a look at the bill in its final form and decide what to do then.
Have the mainstream press and pundits been ‘putting two and two together and getting five’? ‘Reading between the lines’ and drawing the wrong conclusions?
Or just seeking to make mischief to promote their ‘don’t look at Tory chaos – look at Labour!’ narrative that they’ve been assiduously pushing to cover Theresa May’s desperate floundering and grasping at straws?
Take your pick. But whichever you choose, you now have the real answer from the man himself. And it makes one thing very clear:
Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed approach to Article 50 – the one that is troubling his supporters – is a confection – a manufactured narrative that does not stand up to scrutiny.
In other words, it’s fake news from the mainstream media. Again.
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