‘It’s a golden opportunity’: Nigel Farage targets swathe of Labour MPs in northern heartlands saying Corbyn has blundered by backing second referendum on Brexit
- Jeremy Corbyn declared Labour wants new referendum and would back Remain
- Nigel Farage said the Labour move was ‘golden opportunity’ for the Brexit Party
- Northern heartlands that voted heavily for Brexit could now be vulnerable
Nigel Farage today vowed to target a swathe of Labour seats at the next election – saying Jeremy Corbyn had given the Brexit Party a ‘golden opportunity’.
The MEP said the Labour leader’s decision to back a second referendum was a huge mistake and would alienate votes in the party’s northern heartlands.
The threat came as a poll highlighted the risk to Mr Corbyn of shifting Labour into a Remain stance.
The ComRes research for the Sunday Express put the party in pole position on 28 per cent to 24 per cent for the Tories and 20 per cent for the Brexit Party.
However, in the North-east, 35 per cent said they were less likely to back Labour due to its call for a second referendum.
Nigel Farage (pictured at the European Parliament earlier this month) said Labour’s decision to back a second referendum was a huge mistake and would alienate northern heartlands
The figure was 36 per cent in the West Midlands, 38 per cent in the East Midlands, 40 per cent in the Northwest and 43 per cent in Yorkshire & the Humber.
The only region where the new policy improved Labour’s chances was in London.
Mr Farage said he was determined to show the ‘Brexit Party is the true party of the people’.
‘We are the only party committed to giving 17.4 million Leave voters what they voted for more than three years ago – a clean-break Brexit,’ he said.
Labour last week said it would press the next Tory leader to hold a second referendum before taking Britain out of the EU – and committed to campaigning for Remain.
The decision by the shadow cabinet was broadly welcomed by pro-Remain MPs, who have been pressing the party to fully embrace a second referendum.
The move follows weeks of wrangling within the party over its position on Brexit – backing a second referendum only in certain specific circumstances – which was widely blamed for its dismal showing in the European elections.
Announcing the move in a letter to party members, Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘Whoever becomes the new prime minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or no-deal, back to the people in a public vote.
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in London last week) said he would press the new PM to hold a second Brexit referendum – and committed to campaigning for Remain
‘In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either no-deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.’
But Mr Farage said that Labour’s position meant its supporters would abandon the party for an alternative.
‘Labour has turned its back on millions of working-class Leave voters for good. Those Labour MP ”donkeys” are about to become an endangered species,’ the Brexit Party leader said.