Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tom Watson sticking 'two fingers up' to Labour voters with second referendum call, Emma Lewell-Buck tells ITV News

Tom Watson's call to have a second referendum before a general election is "unhelpful", "unnecessary" and "alienates" MPs and a "hell of a lot of Labour voters", Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck has told ITV News.

Speaking to ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand on his Acting Prime Minister podcast, the South Shields MP condemned the intervention from the party's deputy as a "dangerous path to travel" as it effectively sticks "two fingers up" to voters.

Mr Watson said in a speech on Wednesday the 2016 referendum vote had been "invalidated" and said Labour should "unequivocally back Remain" because there is "no such thing as a good Brexit deal".

Ms Lewell-Buck told ITV News around 80% of MPs across the House of Commons would be betraying their manifesto commitment to honour the Brexit result if they supported the call for another standalone public vote on the issue before another general election.

Reacting to Mr Watson's speech, Ms Lewell-Buck said: "Tom's intervention this morning was unhelpful.

Paul Brand spoke to Emma Lewell-Buck for his Acting Prime Minister podcast. Credit: ITV News

"It alienates members of Parliament like me who are trying to seek a deal and move forward with the result of the referendum that we promised people we would do.

"It also alienates a hell of a lot of Labour voters who voted leave."

She added: "He's saying to have a second referendum before a general election. There's not the numbers there (in Parliament) so it's also a bit of an unnecessary thing to say."

While Mr Watson's speech broke ranks with the stance of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Ms Lewell-Buck said she was worried about the consequences of challenging the referendum result and the message it would send to voters.

"I think when MPs start taking a stance of telling their constituents, 'We'll give you a vote and we'll adhere to it and then saying actually we're cleverer than you, we know more than you and we're just going to stick two fingers up to your votes I think that's a dangerous path to travel," she said.

Tom Watson said the 2016 referendum result has been invalidated. Credit: PA

"And it goes back ... around what happens in a representative democracy when those who promise something don't deliver on it.

"That worries me. I think we could be heading into a time where we end up with some kind of Trump figure in Number 10 or even worse."

She went on: "People have already spoken. After the referendum we had a GE and 80% of MPs in the house had in their manifesto, we will respect the result of the referendum.

"That referendum was really nasty, really divisive, and unleashed a tinderbox of xenophobic hate that I've never seen in my lifetime.

"I can't think for one second that re-running it is going to be calmer. It's going to be worse."

Acting Prime Minister has put guests ranging from Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jess Phillips to Ben Fogle and Bobby Norris in power and asked the question: "What would you do now?"

Want to be updated on every new episode? Subscribe here:

Catch up with past episodes of Acting Prime Minister:

Acting Prime Minister offers politicians and public figures the keys to power then asks: 'What would you do now?' Credit: ITV News