Rupa Huq was the unfortunate Labour front-bencher sent out to explain the party’s latest Brexit policy on Politics Live this afternoon. Armed with the standard party line that Labour can somehow unite Britain on Brexit, she struggled under the strain of a classic Andrew Neil grilling. Moreover, Huq made the following bold claim:
"We do represent the 25 most-Remain seats in the country…" @RupaHuq on the Labour message to voters "…but we do also represent the 25 most-Leave constituencies"#PoliticsLive https://t.co/udXeUK9I0G pic.twitter.com/KFcj6C0oIG
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) September 27, 2018
A great soundbite, playing nicely into the Media Vs Jeremy, Government-in-Waiting narrative that Diane Abbot struggled with on Wednesday’s Newsnight.
Unfortunately, technically speaking it is just not true. Of the 25 most Leave-voting seats, only 11 (not 25 as Huq suggested) are currently represented by Labour MPs, with the other 14 are all Conservative-held. In fact, of the top five most Leave voting seats, Labour represents only one. Labour is however, much better represented in the most Remain areas, boasting 17 of the 25.
With the shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer stating that Remain is still an option on the table just this week, Mr S suspects that Labour has some way to go when it coms to representing the 25 most-Leave constituencies…