Shadow Foreign Secretary went ‘full ultra’, wrongly claimed Labour NEC makes policy – and named by Campbell alongside Watson
Emily Thornberry has emerged as a figurehead for the tactics underpinning the latest Labour right coup attempt – and has been tipped as the right’s potential choice to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the party’s leadership – after ignoring Labour policy and collective responsibility to go ‘full referendum’ on the BBC News channel late on Sunday night.
Ms Thornberry launched straight into a pitch for a full Labour pivot to a pro-referendum stance when she appeared on the channel as a Labour representative:
MP after Labour MP had come out firmly on social media to push Labour’s justified position that the party is trying to do the best for both remainers and leavers, making Thornberry’s abandonment of collective responsibility stand out all the more. And at least one NEC (National Executive Committee) member went public with her disappointment:
Thornberry was also inaccurate in claiming that Labour’s NEC decided the party’s policy. Every Labour MP knows that the party’s conference decided Labour’s Brexit policy, not the NEC.
Perhaps surprisingly, it was left to centrist Stephen Kinnock to talk some sense to the BBC in interpreting the evening’s results when he appeared on the same programme a little later:
Arch-remainer Alastair Campbell named-checked Thornberry in the same breath as Watson during his predictable insistence that the evening’s results proved Labour should go full-remain, in spite of the huge results fot the Brexit party in Labour’s heartlands.
A senior Labour source told the SKWAWKBOX:
After tonight, don’t be shocked if Emily emerges as the coup candidate for a leadership challenge. They hope going full remain will drive a wedge between Jeremy and the members, but it just shows how detached from reality they are.
Ms Thornberry could not be reached for comment.
Emily Thornberry has for some time been part of the pro-referendum narrative that has damaged Labour in the proxy-referendum that the Euro elections have represented – and on Sunday night she cast off any remnants of nuance.
Whether the prediction of a leadership challenge turns out to be correct remains to be seen, but her actions tonight have put her on the wrong side – and not just of the Brexit issue.
Labour must drop all notion of a referendum and refuse to be manoeuvred or threatened into a position that would cause huge losses in the leave-supporting north and Wales.
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