Jeremy Corbyn ‘accused of lying to new frontbenchers over Europe’

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of lying to new members of his shadow cabinet1 over whether he will campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. Allies of Chuka Umunna, who stepped down from the front bench on Sunday night over Mr Corbyn s EU stance, criticised the new leader for giving senior MPs different messages. It came after Hilary Benn, who remained in post as shadow foreign secretary, said that Labour would fight to keep Britain in Europe in all circumstances on Monday.

Mr Corbyn repeatedly refused to pledge he would vote to stay in the EU whatever the outcome of David Cameron s renegotiation of Britain s membership during the leadership campaign. The Islington North MP voted to leave Europe in the 1975 referendum and was criticised by his leadership rivals for a lukewarm stance on the EU in recent months. Speaking on BBC Radio Four s Today Programme, Mr Benn said: Jeremy has made it very clear we will stay to fight for a better EU. We will be campaigning and are campaigning for Britain to remain part of the European Union.

Jeremy Corbyn 'accused Of Lying To New Frontbenchers Over Europe'Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announces his shadow cabinet Photo: Getty Images

Asked if this applied in all circumstances, Mr Benn replied: In all circumstances.

The big choice for Britain in this referendum is are we going to be an inward-looking or outward-facing country? The truth about Europe is it has brought jobs, prosperity, peace and influence for Britain in the world.

People in Britain have rights to paid Discount Holidays © holiday because of the European Union. That s why we will be campaigning to remain part of the EU. The comments appeared to contradict a message put out by Mr Umunna, the shadow business secretary, on Sunday saying he would not serve in Mr Corbyn s shadow cabinet.

Jeremy Corbyn 'accused Of Lying To New Frontbenchers Over Europe'Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

It is my view that we should support the UK remaining a member of the EU, notwithstanding the outcome of any renegotiation by the prime minister, he said.

I cannot envisage any circumstances where I would be campaigning alongside those who would argue for us to leave.

Jeremy has made it clear to me that he does not wholeheartedly share this view. Mr Umunna s allies reportedly told the Financial Times that Mr Corbyn was lying about his position to try to keep moderates like Mr Benn in the shadow cabinet. Mr Corbyn was again challenged on his views on Europe at a meeting of MPs on Monday night.

He said Mr Cameron should not be given a blank cheque on his renegotiation plans an indication that Mr Corbyn has not categorically ruled out calling for Britain to leave the EU.


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