Alastair Campbell says he ‘no longer’ wishes to be Labour member
Alastair Campbell, the director of communications during Tony Blair’s time as prime minister, has said he “no longer” wants to be part of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Campbell was expelled from the party in May after admitting voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections as a protest and had planned to appeal against the decision.
But in an open letter to Mr Corbyn, part-published in the Guardian, the former Labour spin doctor has now said, “with some sadness but absolute certainty, I have reached the conclusion that I no longer wish to stay in the party, even if I should be successful in my appeal or legal challenge”.
“The culture you have helped to create has made the party one that I feel no longer truly represents my values, or the hopes I have for Britain,” he told Mr Corbyn in the letter, which is also published in full in the New European.
Mr Campbell said he does not blame Mr Corbyn for Brexit, something he ascribed to successive recent Conservative prime ministers and senior Tories, but he said the Labour leader does not understand the gravity of the UK’s situation and was likely to lose a potential general election.
“I see no sign that you and your office have grasped the seriousness of what is happening, let alone devised or begun to execute a strategy to respond and defeat it,” Mr Campbell wrote.
Last week, Mr Corbyn said Labour will “campaign to Remain” if Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts an unsatisfactory Brexit deal back to the public in a second referendum.
“Labour will oppose any deal that fails to protect jobs, workers’ rights or environmental protections. If you have the confidence to put that decision back to the people, we would, in those circumstances, campaign to Remain,” he said.
But Mr Campbell, a People’s Vote campaigner, said Mr Corbyn’s failure to provide consistent leadership on Brexit since the referendum campaign three years ago “has been a huge disappointment”.
Last week, Mr Blair side-stepped questions about whether he will vote Labour at the next general election.
Pressed three times on the matter on BBC2’s Newsnight, the closest he came to giving an endorsement to the party he led to three election victories was that he “wants” to vote Labour.