Corbyn hints on leniency for Brexit vote rebels – didn’t Vox Political say this would happen?

Jeremy Corbyn [Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire].

I’m sure This Site suggested this would be the case, back when the three-line whip was first announced and Mr Corbyn was being pilloried left, right and centre.

Considering the situation, it never seemed reasonable to This Writer that Mr Corbyn would penalise Labour MPs heavily for breaking the whip. Labour had no chance of stopping the Article 50 Bill from proceeding to committee stage, and the whip was simply a show of support for democracy and the EU referendum result.

That vote has happened, and now Mr Corbyn is saying Labour’s choice may be different if the party’s amendments are rejected during the committee stage and at third reading.

In light of this, it would be (again) reasonable to believe that Mr Corbyn would be lenient to his rebellious MPs; it would be hypocritical of him to punish them, just because they expressed their opposition to Theresa May’s plan for exiting the EU a few days early.

So Labour MPs may be reassured by his words, and should go back to Parliament with clear consciences next week. We may safely deduce that any who remain keen to harm his plans are doing so for personal reasons.

Corbyn’s politics over this Bill continue to be exemplary.

Leading Labour MPs who defied party orders and voted against triggering Brexit last week could stay in their jobs, Jeremy Corbyn hinted today.

The Labour leader said he is a “very lenient person” when asked what disciplinary measures could be handed out to frontbenchers who had ignored his instruction to vote with the Tories on Wednesday.

Three Shadow Cabinet members quit their positions so they could vote against the Bill, yet 10 frontbenchers did not step down despite flouting the three-line whip.

Speaking on Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, Corbyn suggested they may not be sacked – a break with the conventions around how party discipline is maintained.

He said: “I’m talking to all of them. We will be announcing changes in the Shadow Cabinet in the coming few days.”

Corbyn added: “I’m a very lenient person.”

Source: Jeremy Corbyn Hints He Will Be ‘Lenient’ To Labour MPs Who Defied His Brexit Vote Order

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10 thoughts on “Corbyn hints on leniency for Brexit vote rebels – didn’t Vox Political say this would happen?

  1. chriskitcher

    Who is standing up for the 48% who voted to remain? If you are going to oppose then make it clear from the start. The public are not bothered about the intricacies of the Westminster machine. By following this course Jeremy has lost because most of the Remainers wanted to see firm opposition to Brexit. Now all the press and media are focusing on is Diane Abbots missing moment and the lack of firm action against those who did not follow the three line whip.

    Labour needs to oppose the foolishness of Brexit and make a case for remaining in the EU. It will not do this by swaying in the wind.

    PS: I am an ardent supporter of Jeremy but being Mr Nice Guy with rabid Tories will not work.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We should be past all this divisive ‘Remain/Leave’ nonsense by now.
      Why should the Remainers expect to see “firm opposition to Brexit”? There was a democratic vote and Remain lost. It’s unwelcome, I know – I voted ‘Remain’ – but that’s democracy for you. Nobody forced anyone to vote the way they did, so now we must live with the consequences.
      The result of the vote means Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers are demanding the UK’s departure from the European Union and Theresa May must go along with this or split her party, making it unelectable for the foreseeable future. No Tory prime minister would allow such a thing to happen if they could prevent it. Therefore Brexit will happen and no argument against it will succeed.
      So there is no point standing up for the 48 per cent who voted to remain. They lost the vote, and they have no say in internal Tory politics.
      That is the message that you should be telling anybody who is still arguing the remainer case. It is time to be realistic.
      Mr Corbyn is being realistic.
      He knows that opposing Brexit under the current circumstances is a disastrous idea. Politically, it won’t happen. And in the news media it would be presented as opposition to democracy itself. Concentration on non-events like Diane Abbott’s migraine (it is entirely possible that she had one) and Mr Corbyn’s disinterest in punishing MPs who voted with their conscience will go nowhere. If you support ‘Remain’, you should be pleased at Mr Corbyn’s decision!
      So, no. Labour absolutely must not oppose the foolishness of Brexit at this time because it would be a political disaster. And, no. Labour is not swaying in the wind.
      And, no. Mr Corbyn is most certainly not “being Mr Nice Guy” with the Tories.

      1. chriskitcher

        Hang on a minute Mike. Since 1974 a portion of the Tory party has been fighting to leave the EU and if memory serves me right these started immediately;y after the vote to join. Where was the forgive and forget and accept there?

        But lets look at the result in June in detail. 17.4 million people voted to leave out of a total eligible population of 46.6 million. The difference was 1.4 million in favour of leaving, a small amount by any consideration, just over 600,000 in fact.

        13 million people did not vote so they are undecided or uninterested but still capable to be persuaded to vote for a party that wants to stay in if the correct information is put to them.

        I have no interest in seeing the Tory Party stay together and would do all in my power to make sure that it is destroyed completely and this won’t be done by indecision but by having a solid stance and sticking to it. Speaking with friends over the weekend most of them had no idea on Labours stance in respect of the Brexit debate because of the support/not support miasma we seem to be in at the moment.

        Common sense tells us that remaining in the EU is by far the best course of action for the UK especially if we give a dam about the future of younger generations.

        As you say the Tories are not going to see their party destroyed, unlike some Labour idiots, but surely now is the time to be looking towards the 19+ million possible supporters at the next election if Labour has a clear stance on the EU.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I think you are twisting my words. Where have I said anything about forgiving and forgetting, or accepting what’s happening in the context you define? I haven’t.
        I have said that Brexit is happening because Conservatives are demanding it and Theresa May needs to hold her party together – in just the same way David Cameron needed to. The rest of us have to weather it and Labour has to try to make it as palatable as possible by holding the Conservatives to account.
        At the time of writing, we are already seeing what this means in the Labour amendments that have been rejected by the Conservative Parliamentary majority.
        Your comments about the referendum result are, therefore, irrelevant. I’m sorry, but they are. The referendum has absolutely no bearing on what is going on now, except as an excuse for the current situation to happen.
        I’m sorry your friends haven’t followed Labour’s strategy but that is no reason to suggest Labour shouldn’t follow it. Labour’s stance on the EU is clear, as is the party’s stance on democracy. And this debate is far – very far – from over.

  2. Simon

    I’m not surprised. By now Jezza must have all but run out of people in the parliamentary Labour party whom he could invite to join him as a part of his shadow cabinet. Aren’t some of those that remain still covering more than one portfolio?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You miss the point – intentionally, I think. The MPs who rebelled against the whip were never in danger of losing their jobs.
      If any do go, it’ll be to prevent backstabbing, I reckon.

      1. Simon

        What was the point of the three line whip then. Mike? If everybody was free to do anything that they wanted without consequences? Might as well have allowed Labour MPs to vote as they saw fit in the first place, looking magnanimous, democratic and avoided looking weak.

  3. Barry Davies

    So that is nice, Mr Corbyn is not going to punish the people who voted the way most of the labour electorate voted, maybe it would have been more correct to say he isn’t going to punish the ones who would ignore what their party supporters want instead.

Comments are closed.