Jeremy Corbyn: Labour must take on Nigel Farage’s ‘snake oil’

Launching Labour’s European elections campaign, Mr Corbyn says the Brexit Party is peddling “poison” and needs to be challenged /Alan McGuinness, political reporter

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Nigel Farage of selling voters “snake oil”, as he launched Labour’s campaign for the European elections.

The Labour leader said Mr Farage’s Brexit Party, which is top of many opinion surveys ahead of polling day on 23 May, was peddling “poison” and needed to be challenged.

Amid criticism of the party’s position on the question of a second referendum, which has seen critics accuse Mr Corbyn of sitting on the fence, he said made “no apology” for “trying to offer something to everyone”.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks during a news conference in London
Image:Nigel Farage’s new party is riding high in polls for the European elections

While Mr Corbyn said that “we cannot ignore” that more than 17 million people voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum, he also told the audience in Kent: “It’s in the country’s interests to try to get this sorted one way or another.

“But we can never accept the government’s bad deal or a disastrous no-deal.

“So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.”

Mr Corbyn said in a Q&A session after his speech that he would want another public vote “to be seen as a healing process bringing this whole process to a conclusion”.

Britain was due to leave the European Union at the end of March, but this has now been pushed back until October.

Prime Minister Theresa May has failed three times to get her Brexit deal passed by MPs, leading her to request a postponement of Britain’s departure.

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