Jonathan Freedland writes: The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and others have seen the documents which prove that Corbyn and his top team were guilty of much worse than a lack of enthusiasm. They engaged in “deliberate sabotage” of the remain campaign. They pulled out of critical media appearances at the last minute, or else passed up media opportunities to make the case against Brexit; they removed pro-EU lines from speeches; they repeatedly diluted the official Labour position of support for in.
My own reporting, speaking to those involved with the in campaign, confirms this account, as does Phil Wilson MP, parliamentary chair of Labour In For Britain. At those moments of the campaign when Labour was to be given the floor, the party had either prepared nothing or used its platform to attack the Tories fronting the remain campaign, rubbishing George Osborne’s warnings of the economic consequences of Brexit for example. There were plans for a dramatic intervention by all Labour’s leaders – past and present – to stand together and call for remain, designed to ram home to Labour supporters where their party stood. But that was scuppered by Corbyn’s refusal to be associated, even indirectly, with Tony Blair. One idea would have seen Blair in Belfast, Gordon Brown in Glasgow, Neil Kinnock in Cardiff and Jeremy Corbyn in England – but Team Corbyn said no to that and every other version of the plan.
Accompanying Labour canvassers in Yorkshire 10 days before the vote, I saw the effect for myself: Labour voters were still unclear whether their party was for remain or leave, and they were certainly not getting the unmistakable message that a vote to leave would be catastrophic for them in particular. [Continue reading…]