Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has welcomed Lord Andrew Adonis’s entry into the EU elections race, saying the anti-Brexit Labour peer “represents everything that people in Britain have come to hate about our political system”.
Adonis, who was not born into the traditional aristocracy but elevated to the House of Lords by Tony Blair as a life peer, serves as “a brilliantly useful reminder of how rotten our political class has become,” Farage wrote in an article for The Telegraph, describing him as “a great gift”.
Many expressed amazement when Adonis was selected as an MEP candidate by a Labour Party which promised to respect the vote to leave the European Union ahead of the 2017 General Election and, at least on paper, still says it wants to deliver Brexit — considering the peer’s consistent, vehement support for overturning the referendum result.
Indeed, the 56-year-old Blairite went so far as to say, as recently as September 2018, that “If you’re a Brexiter, I hope that you won’t vote for the Labour Party, because the Labour Party is moving increasingly against Brexit… if what you want is Brexit delivered, you should vote for the party that is going to deliver Brexit.”
Labour MEP candidate Lord Adonis: If you are a Brexiteer don't vote Labour.
— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) April 19, 2019
Adonis could perhaps afford to write off Britain’s 17.4 million Brexit voters while he was only an unelected member-for-life in the House of Lords, but had to eat his words after his European Parliament candidacy was announced, issuing a grovelling public apology and promising, perhaps unpersuasively, that “Labour has always been clear it respects the result of the referendum”.
There is little evidence that this Damascene conversion to Brexit reassured the largely Leave-voting working class which was formerly Labour’s core vote — but it did trigger howls of outrage from fellow EU loyalists on social media, who organised under the #UnfollowAdonis hashtag on social media to denounce the peer as a “tribal turncoat” and an “unprincipled chancer”.
“As handbrake turns go, this one was noisy in the extreme,” Farage observed.
“But it is deeply insulting in its casualness, as well. There is no way this Labour lickspittle would have humiliated himself in such a manner had he not been told to do so… I think we all know his ‘apology’ is to be taken with a bucket of salt,” he observed.
#unfollowAdonis the turncoat.
Let's sink his follower count.
— Тим Хилл #FBPE (@Tim_JR_Hill) April 25, 2019
“I would argue that Adonis’s political background is one of the reasons he is so enthusiastic about the EU,” the veteran Brexit campaigner suggested, describing the life peer as a “product of patronage and special favours, not of democracy.”
“He has so much in common with unelected EU bureaucrats like Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier who are so petrified at the thought of Britain leaving the EU that they have done all they can to try to keep our country in the bloc,” Farage said.
“Adonis is one of them.”
So on May 23 the British people have a choice. War hero @JAGlancy, a retired Captain in the Royal Marines who was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for serving in Afghanistan.
Or @Andrew_Adonis. It's a tough one…
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) April 23, 2019
“It is my belief that the contempt which Adonis and his kind feel for the people of Britain will be reflected back onto them in magnified form on May 23 [when the European Parliament elections are set to take place],” Farage concluded.
“I would urge every voter to take part in next month’s European elections… Dishonest Lord Adonis doesn’t want your vote but The Brexit Party certainly does.”