John McDonnell spurns Brexit advice from 'macho, threatening' Alastair Campbell
Watch: The shadow chancellor and the New Labour spin supremo went head-to-head on Peston on Sunday.
Alastair Campbell is determined to get Labour to radically change its stance on Brexit, it is fair to say.
First the New Labour spin supremo drafted a speech that Jeremy Corbyn could use to announce a change of Labour’s position on Brexit. Then, in an open letter to Corbyn two months ago, Campbell proposed a detailed anti-Brexit strategy for Labour - and even provided a handy slogan.
"I am convinced that ‘tough on Brexit, tough on the causes of Brexit’ could get you over the line now,” he wrote.
Today Campbell got the chance to take his message to the top of Team Corbyn when he went head-to-head with the leader’s right-hand man John McDonell.
But he was swiftly told to go away.
The pair clashed after Campbell set about summarising Labour's position as "we are still basically on the road out and it doesn't matter what happens".
And the shadow chancellor shot back: "That's the sort of macho, threatening politics that has divided this country. What we need to do now is have a rational, moderate debate about the pros and cons of our future and what relationships we need.”
In a further blow to Campbell and his anti-Brexit allies, the McDonnell also used his appearance on the show to state that he would rather have a general election than a second EU referendum.
“We would never turn our backs on democratic engagement, but our worry at the moment is that if you had another referendum it would divide the country again and at the same time we would open up the potential of that right-wing xenophobia,” he said.
“Better we have a general election on the issue and all the other issues because then you have a wider debate as well.”