Labour conference was mired in controversy this afternoon, as the party voted against backing Remain in a second referendum. While the party’s conference ended up passing Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred Brexit position, the key vote on whether Labour would back Remain was only dropped after Labour’s general secretary and Corbyn ally, Jennie Formby overruled the debate chair.
Labour motions at conference are voted on with a show of hands, and at first, the chair of the debate believed that the Remain motion had passed – which would have been an embarrassing setback for Jeremy Corbyn. Remarkably though, the chair’s decision was then contested by Formby, who believed more people had voted against the motion in the hall. The flustered chair said therefore that Labour would not back Remain at all, before conferring with her colleagues on the top table as Formby placed her hand over the onstage microphone.
After the consultation, the chair decided to stick with her decision that the motion had never passed and, controversially, refused to hold a ‘card vote’ to see if the tally was correct. That decision was met with shouts from the conference floor as Remain supporting Labour delegates contested the decision.
Watch the moment Labour almost backed Remain here:
Expect this one to run…