Tom Goodenough

Ignoring Brexit to spare Corbyn’s blushes is a price worth paying for some

Ignoring Brexit to spare Corbyn's blushes is a price worth paying for some
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Labour’s Brexit row rumbles on. While the issue won’t be the subject of a vote at the party’s annual gathering, that isn’t stopping delegates from tearing scraps out of each other in the conference hall over the issue. This morning’s session was dedicated to giving delegates a chance to talk shop on Brexit. It’s true that much of it was good natured. But some of those who took to the stage were booed for their troubles.

One such delegate earned the disapproval of the audience for accusing Labour delegates of doing nothing to stop the Tories pursuing their Brexit agenda. He told those in the hall: 'We will be remembered as the opposition that let the Tories do what they want on Brexit’. Here's how the audience reacted to that criticism:

It's clear from today's session that the view that Labour should be doing more to halt Brexit certainly has a healthy degree of support among members. The delegate below was repeatedly cheered for saying that Brexit must be stopped. This shows that such a position is widely shared in the party. It also serves as yet another indicator of the trouble for the Labour party in reconciling such views with those who want to implement the result from the referendum.

This eagerness to get on with it was shared by several Corbyn supporters who took to the stage in Brighton. It seems that a good few of these equate wanting to discuss Brexit at conference with an attempt to 'embarrass' Corbyn. This leaflet published by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, and handed out to delegates on the way in to the conference hall, spells out that point of view:

This idea - that Corbyn’s enemies are using Brexit to bash Corbyn - also came up during this morning’s session. This delegate said those campaigning against Brexit were a ‘disgrace’ and that trying to reverse the referendum was actually little more than a naked attempt to ‘undermine Corbyn'.

It seems that while a vote on Brexit might have helped the Labour party further its thoughts on Brexit, sparing their leader’s blushes is more important for some Labour members.