‘Who will lead the campaign for Jeremy Corbyn’s new Brexit deal if not Corbyn?’ Labour frontbencher reels as BBC’s Andrew Marr ridicules leader’s ‘neutral’ stance – and slams ‘dishonest’ claim only top 5% of earners would face higher taxes
- Jeremy Corbyn has admitted he will stay ‘neutral’ in second Brexit referendum
- Labour’s Angela Rayner squirmed as she was grilled on the promise this morning
- BBC’s Andrew Marr asked who would back Mr Corbyn’s EU deal if not Mr Corbyn
- Presenter also branded Labour ‘dishonest’ over claim only top 5% faced more tax
Jeremy Corbyn’s allies were today desperately struggling to defend his vow to stay ‘neutral’ on Brexit.
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner was left floundering as she was roasted on the policy by the BBC’s Andrew Marr this morning.
She said it was a ‘hypothetical’ question whether a Labour government would support its own new package.
Mr Corbyn caused fury last week by admitting that while he wants to negotiate a new Brexit deal and call a second referendum, he will never tell the British people whether he backs Leave or Remain.
Interviewing Ms Rayner today, Marr demanded to know who would lead the campaign for Labour’s new deal if not the party’s leader.
He also accused Labour of ‘dishonestly’ claiming that only the top 5 per cent would pay for its huge spending splurge – saying basic rate taxpayers faced losing marriage tax allowance.
Interviewing Angela Rayner today, Andrew Marr demanded to know who would lead the campaign for Labour’s new deal if not Jeremy Corbyn
In bruising exchanges as the election campaign enters its final stretch, Marr pointed out that many shadow cabinet members had already publicly said they will campaign for Remain in a second referendum.
‘You negotiate this new deal, you bring it back, the PM is neutral, most of the senior members of the Cabinet are in favour of Remain… what we know about the party is pro-Remain,’ he said.
‘This is going to be the most unloved orphan offer to the British people ever.
‘It is going to be a referendum between staying inside the EU, and an offer no-one seems to be standing up for..
‘Who is going to be leading the pro-Jeremy Corbyn negotiated deal (campaign) if it’s not Jeremy Corbyn, and it’s not his shadow cabinet, and it’s not the Labour Party?’
Ms Rayner smiled awkwardly as the question was put to her.
‘The framing of this is that everbody is Remain and that’s just not true,’ she said.
‘The country did vote to leave the EU and we have said we respected that… we will negotiate a deal and we will put that back to the people. They will have the ultimate say and then we will move on.’
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner was asked if a future Labour government would take a position on the deal it would negotiate with Brussels or not.
‘Well, that’s a hypothetical,’ she said.
Ms Rayner said her party will negotiate a deal that puts jobs and environment protections first and which will deal with the Northern Ireland border.
‘Within six months we’ll put that back to the people and the people will decide, and then we’ll move on,’ she said.
Marr also accused Labour of ‘dishonestly’ claiming that only the top 5 per cent would pay for its huge spending splurge – saying basic rate taxpayers faced losing marriage tax allowance
Ms Rayner said: ‘I think some of the problems that we have at the moment is the framing of this is that everybody’s Remain, and that’s just not true.
‘Actually the country did vote to leave the European Union, and we’ve said we respected that, so we’re not going to be like the Lib Dems and just ignore that.
‘We will negotiate a deal and we’ll put that back to the people, and they will have the ultimate say, and then we’ll move on.’
Marr also grilled Ms Rayner on the pledge to scrap the marriage tax allowance. The Tory policy allows non-earners to hand £1,250 of their tax-free allowance to their spouse – but can only be claimed by basic rate taxpayers.
‘Are those people in the top 5 per cent?’ Marr said.
Ms Rayner said Labour had been ‘incredibly honest with the public’ that in order to improve the country the wealthiest would have to pay more.
But Marr insisted: ‘I’m really sorry Angela Rayner but you are not being honest with the public when you say that only the top 5 per cent are going to have to pay.
‘Everybody taking marriage tax allowance are going to lose that under Labour. They are not in the top 5 per cent. They are relatively low and medium tax payers and you are taking £250 away from them.’