Barry Gardiner is one of Labour’s star media performers, having already become a cult hero by demolishing hostile interviewers during the 2017 general election campaign – and did so last month when the BBC’s Andrew Marr misrepresented the route to a new election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. He showed today that he’s lost none of his ability in 2019.
Gardiner appeared on Sky News’ Ridge programme to outline Labour’s Brexit position – and in spite of interruptions as Sophie Ridge tried to turn the discussion to a so-called “people’s vote”, Gardiner laid out perfectly Labour’s position and plan:
Labour will fight for a general election – and will go to the people on a plan to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU, which the EU will accommodate because of a new government coming to the table without May’s impossible, mutually-incompatible red lines.
Gardiner’s personal opinion is that it might then make sense to put the new deal to the people – but it would be a deal that would aim to unite the UK, rather than dividing it as the Tories’ blinkered approach would inevitably do – and would do so whether there was Brexit on May’s current terms, without a deal at all, or even if there was a so-called “people’s vote” when all the Tory-driven options on the table are bad ones.
Of course, Labour’s policy on Brexit and a general election has long been perfectly clear – and was laid out formally at the party’s annual conference in September.
So Gardiner’s bravura performance is not going to stop centrists and media pundits claiming the policy is unclear – they’ve been doing it for a long time and are not going to stop now.
But Gardiner’s exposition of Labour’s position makes it perfectly clear that those pundits, presenters and mouthpieces are being entirely – and in most cases intentionally – dishonest.
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