Boost for Brexiteers as Lord Adonis performs volte-face on EU exit
Arch-Remainer and prominent People's Vote advocate Lord Adonis has praised Labour's "sensible" Brexit plan
Europhile Labour peer Andrew Adonis has befuddled his supporters after he urged Brexiteers to vote for his party while praising Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit plan, despite being one of the most vocal advocates for overturning the referendum result.
Lord Adonis, who describes himself of Twitter as a "Brexit denier", made the comments just days after he was selected to stand as an MEP candidate for the South West of England.
Only two months ago, Lord Adonis compared the Brexit process to appeasement to fascism, tweeting: "I have never hidden my view that the purpose of a second referendum is to stop Brexit, democratically. It is a catastrophic national error, like appeasement in the 1930s. It is the supreme duty of wise national leaders to argue this & to appeal to the British people not to do it."
But in a Facebook post described by some as a "hostage note", Lord Adonis apologised for comments he made during an LBC radio show in September, where he said: If you are a Brexiteer, I hope you won't vote for the Labour party because they're moving increasingly against Brexit."
“If you want Brexit, you should vote for a party that’s going to deliver Brexit, and we’re not going to deliver Brexit.”
But taking to social media, the candidate posted: "I am deeply sorry for the off-the-cuff comments I made during a live LBC radio phone-in last September. I encourage all voters, whatever their position on Brexit, to vote Labour in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
"In a dangerously divided society, Labour is the only political party seeking to bring Remain and Leave voters together so that we can get on with the job of ensuring our country works for the many, not the few."
And in comments which sparked questions about his commitment to a second referendum, he added: "Labour has always been clear that it respects the result of the referendum...
"That is why Labour has put forward a sensible alternative plan that would ensure a close economic relationship with the EU after Brexit, based on a new customs union and dynmaic alignment on rights and standards. If such a plan cannot be secured due to the government's infighting and irresponsbility, we believe all options should remain on the table, including the option of a public vote."
But the remarks drew condemnation from Change UK MP Chuka Umunna who accused Lord Adonis of being "gagged" by the Labour leadership.
He said: "I thought this was a spoof account when I read this on my friend Andrew Adonis' page but then I remembered he is now standing for UK Labour in the European elections and so has been gagged by the leadership. Bye Bye People's Vote + Remain, hello soft Brexit. So disappointing."
Fellow Change UK MP Sarah Wollaston added: "Does somoeone need to rescue Andrew Adonis from this compulsory re-education?"