Jacob Rees-Mogg has slammed Sadiq Khan for backing a second referendum to block Brexit, as pollsters confirm there is “no consistent evidence” that support is growing for such a vote.
Prime Minister Theresa May also singled out the London Mayor, after he backed a re-run of the 2016 referendum, dubbed a “People’s Vote”, over the weekend, despite previously arguing against it.
In a debate during the referendum campaign, Mr Khan called the vote “final” and after the vote, he said the “establishment” had to “respect” the outcome and argued a re-run would erode trust and increase division.
Mr Rees-Mogg hit back Thursday, telling the Express: “Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said precisely the opposite a couple of years ago. ‘We’ve had the vote, that’s it, we must leave’ and he’s now changed his mind.
“I think a lot of people who voted Remain and don’t like the result want us to keep us voting until we give them the result they want. Democracy doesn’t work like that. You have to implement this decision and it had three votes behind it.”
Theresa May has failed to negotiate a Brexit position with her own party – let alone agree a deal with the EU, with her government looking out of its depth. That's why giving people a fresh say is now the right approach for our city and country. https://t.co/J6XBXaTnpu
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) September 18, 2018
He argued that the public had backed leaving the Brussels bloc three times: In the 2016 referendum, by overwhelmingly backing parties committed to leaving in the last general election, and by voting for David Cameron’s Tories in 2015 under the promise of a vote.
He continued: “It had the general election in 2015 when the Conservatives promised a referendum.
“It had the referendum itself and the last general election, and both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party said they would deliver on the referendum results.
“So it already had popular support three times.”
The statement came as leading anti-Brexit campaigner and New European editor Alastair Campbell was rebuffed by a leading pollster for claiming support was growing for a “People’s Vote”.
Professor John Curtice told a BBC fact checker on Thursday there was “no consistent evidence in a shift in support for a second referendum”.
"There is no consistent evidence of a shift in support for a second referendum" Prof John Curtice told #factcheckjoel after #politicslive guests made claims about calls for a further votehttps://t.co/iR09IQOEQt #politicslive pic.twitter.com/8DJfXbcbBY
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) September 20, 2018
Shortly before Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments were published, ahead of the European Union (EU) summit in Austria, Mrs May promised to resist a second vote and also attacked Labour.
She said, “this government will never accept a second referendum” during a passionate tirade directed at her opposition.
Adding: “There are prominent Labour members like the mayor of London who are now trying to take us back to square one and are backing a second referendum and postponing the Brexit date, the exit day.
“I want to be absolutely clear: this government will never accept a second referendum. The British people voted to leave the European Union and we will be leaving on the 29th of March, 2019.”
She continued: “I now call on the Labour leadership to rule out a second referendum and stop trying to frustrate the Brexit process.
“It’s now a matter of trust in British politicians that we should deliver on the will of the people.”