A prominent Manchester Labour MP has criticised Jeremy Corbyn after he pledged his support to Britain remaining in the European Union.
On the day that the Brexit campaigning officially begins, the Leave campaign is starting on unsteady footing, after Corbyn yesterday decided to show whole-hearted support for remaining in the EU.
Speaking exclusively to Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, said that he opposed Corbyn’s argument, claiming it will confuse the party’s faithful.
“Labour voters will be perplexed,” said Mr Stringer.
“I don’t think they will understand the Labour Party asking people to support a Conservative Prime Minister and a Conservative Chancellor who are the cause of extreme cuts and austerity.
“The EU is another major cause of austerity because of the deflation caused by the monetary policies within the Eurozone – they are effectively Margaret Thatcher’s policies.”
Corbyn’s first intervention in the debate claimed to offer the ‘socialist’ case for staying in the EU, to protect workers’ rights and environmental safeguards, something Mr Stringer remains sceptical about.
“The EU’s history on workers’ rights has been very mixed,” he said.
“They have passed some good laws, but increasingly they’re attacking the rights of workers.
“You just have to look at Greece where they have abolished, in effect, collective bargaining rights for Trade Unions.
“They have put the European Central Bank in control of Greece and again effectively abolished democracy.
“There is a threat from the European Union to the minimum wage and the biggest threat to jobs in the European Union is the Euro.”
Mr Stringer has pledged his full backing to the Brexit campaign, despite the contradictory words of his leader and insisted change needs to come.
“I think Jeremy’s analysis is wrong,” he said.
“The EU is not reformable. If it had been reformable, David Cameron would have got a better deal and he got no deal at all.
“There is no evidence at all that we can move the EU to the left.
“We are better taking democratic control of our own destiny, retaking control of our laws, money and borders.”
Blackley’s MP also believes Corbyn’s latest remarks have alienated the party from its voters.
“The Labour Party is divided from Labour voters at the moment,” he said.
“A majority of people who vote Labour or have voted Labour in the last general election are ready to vote out or are undecided.
“I think if we vote to become an independent, self-governing country again, that will be very good news for Labour voters and in the long term for the Labour Party itself.”
Whilst deeming Corbyn’s intentions ‘honourable’, Mr Stringer does not believe his argument is the right one.
“Jeremy is a Eurosceptic – he has always voted against the nonsense of the European Union,” he said.
“The reason he has come out now is that it is an honourable position to try and keep the party and the Trade Union movement together.
“It is honourable, but I think it is a big mistake.”