Emily Thornberry: we should have backed a second referendum

Emily Thornberry: we should have backed a second referendum
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The results have begun to trickle in from the European elections tonight, and already it looks like Labour are being hammered from both sides, as they lose Leave voters to the Brexit Party and Remain voters to the Lib Dems and Greens.

And with only one region announced, it already appears that the cracks are appearing in Labour unity, especially on the divisive issue of whether the party should back a second referendum.

Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, was on BBC News as the results came in, and while she was expected to simply manage expectations for the night and highlight the difficulty of Labour's position, she instead used the opportunity to go on the attack, saying that:

'We were not clear on the one single thing people wanted to hear'

Asked where clarity was needed most, Thornberry replied:

'We should have said quite simply that any deal that comes out of this government should be put to a confirmatory referendum and that Remain should be on the ballot paper and that Labour would campaign to Remain. That's what we should have done.'

As you would expect, that has not gone down with Labour's Brexit supporters, with shadow cabinet member Jon Trickett retweeting a post attacking his parliamentary colleague.

As the night wears on, and the results get worse for Labour, expect more fireworks from the Labour benches...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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