Labour 'Remain' Campaigners Attack Jeremy Corbyn

Alan Johnson Brexit
Labour 'Remain' campaign director Alan Johnson in London, Britain June 22, 2016. Johnson has said Jeremy Corbyn's office undermined his campaign. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Leading Labour Party figures involved in the unsuccessful campaign to keep Britain in the EU have hit out at party leader Jeremy Corbyn for allegedly undermining their efforts.

Will Straw, a Labour member and the director of official “Remain” campaign Britain Stronger in Europe, said in a statement that Corbyn should follow the lead of Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation on Friday.

“Rather than making a clear and passionate Labour case for EU membership, Corbyn took a week’s holiday in the middle of the campaign and removed pro-EU lines from his speeches,” Straw said.

“Rather than finding imaginative ways for Labour to present a united front and get its message across to wavering supporters, Corbyn vetoed a planned event featuring all Labour’s former leaders.

“Rather than confronting concerns about immigration with Labour’s values of contribution and reciprocity, Corbyn distanced himself from the manifesto commitment to restrict in-work benefits for new arrivals to this country and planned a trip to Turkey to talk about ‘open borders.’

“Under his leadership, Labour is further removed from its industrial heartlands than ever before with 29 percent of its supporters threatening to go elsewhere,” he added.

Alan Johnson, the director of Labour’s separate pro-EU campaign Labour IN For Britain, said in a letter to staff and leaked to ITV that “At times” it felt as if Corbyn’s office “were working against the rest of the party and had conflicting objectives.”

The criticism comes as Corbyn faces total collapse in his top leadership team, with over 30 resignations since the start of Sunday, and the likely approach of a leadership election.