Thursday, September 12, 2019

South Shields Labour MP backs coalition with Brexit Party rather than Lib Dems

Emma Lewell-Buck is the Labour MP for South Shields. She was David Miliband's replacement after he resigned to spend less time with his brother who had just beaten him for the Labour leadership. While David went on to be the head of the charity International Rescue (I'm trying to avoid references to Thunderbirds to the rescue), Ms Lewell-Buck headed to Parliament as the new MP. She is not without her controversies. She seems very much on the Brexit wing of the Labour Party. Indeed, she is so devoted to the Brexit cause that earlier this year Corbyn, a lifelong Leaver, sacked her for voting against a further referendum when the Labour line, as usual, was to sit on the fence and abstain.

Ms Lewell-Buck has now courted more Brexit controversy by announcing she would prefer to go into coalition with Nigel Farage's Brexit Party rather than the Liberal Democrats. Maybe she has an eye on recent expulsions from the Labour Party of members who admitted voting Lib Dem in the European elections in May. While action against Labour anti-semites has been slow, anyone with a hint of Liberal Democracy is immediately show the exit door from the Labour Party.

But could she really be prepared to go into coalition with the Brexit Party? This is an organisation near enough to the far right to make any association with it by anyone of a progressive hue at best uncomfortable and at worst carrying out a complete betrayal of their principles. The answer is yes.

According to ITN's "Acting Prime Minister" podcast, when she was given the choice of a coalition with the Lib Dems or the Brexit Party, she plumped for the latter.

"Nigel Farage openly stokes racism, hatred and division, but some people in the Labour Party are so determined to deliver Brexit they'd put him in Government," said Jo Swinson.

Even Boris Johnson has ruled out an election pact with Brexit and has said Farage will not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

It will be interesting to see what Labour will do. My guess is that as she wasn't advocating teaming up with the Lib Dems, expulsion is not an option. Aspiring Labour politicians need to put their CVs back in the drawer!

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