LABOUR members’ ‘hearts are Remain’ Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson claimed yesterday addressing the Centre for European Reform. He went on to insist that it was not too late to reverse the UK’s exit from the EU.
Despite Watson’s right-wing position being at odds with Labour Party policy, the Party leadership gave no response.
However, Labour chairman Ian Lavery – who is against another referendum – tweeted that ‘ignoring Leave voters’ is not a sensible move.
Watson claimed: ‘Pro-European is who we are and who we have always been. Our members are Remain. Our values are Remain. Our hearts are Remain.’
He said Labour should then fight for Remain, even though ‘we might lose some votes’.
Watson is calling for a one-off meeting or ballot of Labour Party members to be held to vote on a shift in policy – warning Labour ‘could not afford to wait until its party conference in late September’.
Watson said: ‘Our belief in the EU has been whispered not shouted. It has been taken as read by generations of Labour politicians that the European Union is at best a necessary evil.
‘But the EU is a major trading block we can’t afford to be outside of.
‘The core vales of the EU are internationalism, solidarity, freedom.
‘Those are British values and they are Labour values too.
‘I am a European democratic socialist. I don’t go along with the EU despite being a socialist, I embrace the EU because I am a socialist.’
News Line contacted the Labour Party, Unison, Unite, RMT and CWU but were unable to get a comment on Watson’s betrayal.
Dave Wiltshire, Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance (ATUA) condemned Watson yesterday. He said: ‘Watson has trampled all over Labour Party policy on leaving the EU, which was so successful in removing the Tory Party’s majority in the last General Election and was supported by millions of workers.
‘He is now seeking openly to split the Labour Party. He should be immediately expelled from the Labour Party. He has publicly opposed Labour Party policy, something the Tories will benefit from.
‘He should be kicked out and presumably his next stop after that will be to join Chucka Umunna in the ranks of the LibDems, which is his true home.’
Meanwhile at the Tory Party internal hustings, which took place within Parliament yesterday, prospective candidate Rory Stewart was asked by the political media whether he was an agent of MI6, something which he denied.