All aboard! Corbyn and Johnson unite for EU drive (as Gordon weighs in too)

Written by David Singleton on 11 May 2016 in Diary

Current Labour leader takes his seat alongside Labour leader that never was

Jeremy Corbyn and Alan Johnson put on a united front as they sat next to each other on Labour's pro-EU battle bus, which is set to visit more than 100 towns and cities across the UK.

The pair were seated next to each other for a new film put out by the party to showcase its arguments in the run-up to the 23 June referendum.

Corbyn has been criticised for not being sufficiently enthusiastic about the campaign to remain in the European Union. Apart from one major speech, he has kept a low profile on the issue and is regarded as the most Eurosceptic leader of the party in a generation.

But in the film, presented by Labour MP Gloria De Piero, Johnson makes a point of praising Corbyn’s leadership on the issue:

"We’re going to tour the country. Thanks to Jeremy’s leadership on this, every sinew, every muscle, every bit of effort in the Labour party will be dedicated to this campaign. Because we think it’s the most important political campaign of our lifetimes. It subsumes the normal run of politics, local election. It’s far more important than that, because this is forever.

Corbyn then makes it clear that he still believes the EU needs to be improved - as he says the case for remaining is all about hope.

“It’s about hope of decent working conditions across Europe, about hope and free movement of people, about hope on environmental protection across the whole continent -  you can’t protect the environment within national borders.”





Elsewhere, Gordon Brown has thrown his weight behind the campaign to stay in the EU in a wide-ranging speech at the London School of Economics.

The former prime minister claimed it was "not British" to retreat to Europe's sidelines. And he argued that Britain needed to be in the EU to shape the continent's responses to terrorism, immigration and climate change.

"I think most people would agree that it's not British or in tune with the Churchillian spirit to simply disengage when Ukraine is in turmoil. It is not British to retreat to Europe's sidelines when there is a common fight against illegal immigration and terrorism.

"It is certainly not British... to allow ourselves to be on the periphery when important defence and security decisions are made, not only in Nato but in the European Union."

In response, a Vote Leave spokesman said: "Gordon Brown was in a government that gave away part of our rebate and opened our borders across the EU. Lessons on the patriotic case for the EU will ring hollow from a prime minister with such a disastrous record in Europe."


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