Tim Farron blasted Jeremy Corbyn for his weak leadership
The Liberal Democrat leader attacked the Islington North MP for his inability to clearly position his party post-Brexit – but claimed Corbyn had positioned Labour on the wrong side of the Brexit debate.
Farron – who has made no attempt to hide his desire to snatch pro-Remain constituencies from Labour in 2020 and at upcoming by-elections – said the Labour leader was struggling to deal with internal conflicts within his own party who were divided on how to respond to Brexit.
You have a Labour party from top to bottom that is failing
Tim Farron MP
The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP said: “I think what Labour has done is to believe this is too difficult for them politically, let’s just wait for it to go away, and the meeker we are, the quicker it will go away.
“I think that’s the calculation they’ve made, and this and future generations are not going to forgive them for that.
“We are saying that Jeremy Corbyn and now Keir Starmer [the shadow Brexit secretary] as well – you have a Labour party from top to bottom that is failing.”
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Jeremy Corbyn campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum
Farron moaned that Labour should not roll-over and accept Brexit – but instead fight against the will of the 52 per cent.
He said: “It’s not divisive to hold the Government to account, and not just to lamely give up as we go over a cliff, and that is what Labour are doing – they are being the most ineffective opposition in living memory.”
Farron also ruled out any potential cooperation with Labour to form a “progressive alliance” – meaning the two parties would not run against each other in closely contended seats to ensure the Tories do not get elected.
Tim Farron and Sarah Olney celebrate winning the Richmond Park by-election
He added: “The difficulty we’ve got with Labour at the moment is that they are on the wrong side of the argument from a progressive point of view on the biggest issue of the day. So what would that achieve at the moment?”
Farron has boasted about a fight-back following the last general election washout, where his party lost 49 seats and were reduced to just eight of the 650 constituencies available.
Lib Dem candidate Sarah Olney has since managed to overturn a 23,000 majority to wrestle the Richmond Park seat from former Tory Zac Goldsmith last year – bringing their total number of seats to nine in the House of Commons.