Mandelson: Corbyn sabotaged campaign to keep Britain in EU

Lord Mandelson, who has accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of sabotaging the campaign to keep Britain in the EU
Lord Mandelson, who has accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of sabotaging the campaign to keep Britain in the EU

Labour grandee Lord Mandelson has accused party leader Jeremy Corbyn of sabotaging the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

And the head of the official Remain campaign, former Labour election candidate Will Straw, said he felt “let down” by Mr Corbyn’s “lukewarm” support in the referendum, complaining that it took six months for him even to secure a meeting with one of the leader’s advisers.

Their comments came in a BBC2 programme tonight on the EU referendum, which also features:

l Nick Clegg claiming that Michael Gove was the source for The Sun’s controversial front cover story suggesting the Queen backed Brexit – something the former justice secretary has denied;

l Europhile former Cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke condemning David Cameron’s decision to call a referendum as “reckless and irresponsible”;

l A senior Cameron adviser confirming the then PM had less than 15 minutes’ notice of Boris Johnson declaring for Leave;

Following the Leave victory on June 23, Mr Corbyn came under attack from within Labour ranks for what was widely seen as a half-hearted campaign, in which he refused to join politicians from other parties on Britain Stronger In Europe (BSIE) platforms, opting instead to work with the single-party Labour In group.

Former European commissioner Lord Mandelson said Remain campaigners were left puzzling over whether the Labour leader really wanted Britain to stay in the 28-nation bloc.

He told the programme, Brexit – The Battle for Britain: “It was very difficult to know what Jeremy Corbyn’s motives were. Did he just sort of get out of bed the wrong side every day and not feel (in a) very sort of friendly, happy mood and want to help us? Or was there something deeper ... perhaps he just deep down actually doesn’t think we should remain in the European Union?”