Corbyn’s colleagues think he is ‘bonkers’ on Brexit, says Alastair Campbell

Jeremy Corbyn’s closest colleagues think he is “bonkers” on Brexit, former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell has said.

The People’s Vote campaigner told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the party leader’s muted support for another referendum is increasingly isolating him from his own frontbenchers.

Mr Campbell reeled off names of those disagreeing with Mr Corbyn as he gave his first interview since being expelled from Labour after admitting voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections as a protest.

He said: “I have had it clearly spelled out to me by people from Keir Starmer to John McDonnell, I’ve heard it publicly from Shami Chakrabarti, from Tom Watson, Emily Thornberry.

“They all think this decision is bonkers and they all think it should be reviewed.

“It’s a question of whether the Labour Party wants to do the right thing on Brexit or whether it just wants to have these distractions where we can talk about process, talk about nonsense, and not face up to the decisions that real leaders would make on the single most important issue facing the country.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Using Labour’s “for the many not the few” slogan, Mr Campbell said Mr Corbyn needs to listen to why his party had been “virtually annihilated” in last week’s election.

Blaming his “very, very small clique” of advisers for refusing to give full-throated support to another referendum, he said: “Jeremy Corbyn needs to decide if he is going to listen to the many – the public, the members, the MPs – or the few – Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy, Len McCluskey and Andrew Murray.

“They are the people driving this and they are the people risking oblivion for the Labour Party.”

Seumas Milne and Jeremy Corbyn
Seumas Milne and Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Campbell also said there was “no justification” for his expulsion from the party and that he would be appealing against the decision.

“The reason there is no justification for this expulsion is because, as Shami Chakrabarti said yesterday, a tactical vote is not a reason for expulsion,” he said.

“The only evidence provided to me were three cuttings covering what I’d said after the event, after the polls had closed, after the results had come in.”

Defending his comments on the eve of poll that he understood people who were not planning to vote Labour, he said: “That’s hardly campaigning for another party.”