Believers in the theory that Jeremy Corbyn is playing a “long game” are in danger of looking foolish this weekend while Labour may be facing the prospect of its internal splits on Europe dominating an otherwise news-barren period, following the party leader’s endorsement of Brexit (again) in today’s Guardian.
Corbyn told the paper he was determined to run in any snap election on a pro-Brexit platform which has led to expressions of outrage from many Labour MPs.
They are concerned that a Labour party running as pro-Brexit will face voter defections to the Lib Dems (something that has already happened at a local level), abstentions and even lose on-the-ground activists as experienced – and pro-European – veterans simply vote with their feet.
The last ten days have seen a proxy war inside the Labour leadership played out in social media. It is believed that, encouraged by John McDonnell, some “blue tick Corbynistas” pushed the idea that Labour could back a “People’s Vote” and use it as a platform to promote radical politics.
A furious response from Len McCluskey of Unite – transmitted into the world of LOTO by Karie Murphy – saw that off and has now been backed by Corbyn’s personal statement.
But with the economy visibly on the slide it is becoming harder for trade union leaders to pretend their members’ interests are served by backing any form of Brexit and the tensions between being loyal to Jeremy and standing up for their members are growing by the day.