Jeremy Corbyn was given a taste of a Brexit rebellion last night when 90 of his MPs declined his suggestion of abstaining on the single market amendment and rebelled. Perhaps the most interesting aspect, however, was not who backed the amendment but the 15 Labour MPs who rebelled to vote against it.
One such MP – Laura Smith – resigned as Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office to vote against remaining in the EEA. Explaining her reasons, she said she would always put her constituents in Crewe & Nantwich first:
It isn't acceptable to label the majority of my constituents as racist or to suggest they didn't know what they were voting https://t.co/ozW2AKCvVq is not the place of politicians to tell the people they were wrong.
— Laura Smith MP (@LauraSmithMP) June 13, 2018
So, it made for interesting viewing today when Smith was pitted against chief Labour Remain-er Polly Toynbee on the issue of honouring the referendum result:
JC: Do you think Polly is part of the problem? People who hold the views that Polly does, for the Labour party?
LS: So, I put, we have another referendum and it comes out slightly remain, say. What do I tell the people who have completely disengaged, disenfranchised from politics and felt held back, left behind with their views completely disregarded. What do I tell them? Or, let’s look at it again, and it comes out Leave again – when do we stop? When do we accept that this has happened?
— BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) June 14, 2018
Mr S couldn’t have said it better himself.