Former Labour MP Ian Austin has told “decent, patriotic” Labour supporters to vote for Boris Johnson to stop Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime minister. He called the socialist unpatriotic and “unfit” to lead the country, and condemned him for allowing antisemitism to take hold in the party.
Mr Austin resigned from Labour in February — continuing to represent his Dudley North seat as an independent — in response to Mr Corbyn allowing a “culture” of antisemitism to flourish in the party.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday morning, the MP said: “The country faces a big choice. There are only two people who can be prime minister on December 13th: Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson. I think Jeremy Corbyn is completely unfit to lead our country.”
Reflecting on 34 years in the British left-wing party, he remarked: “It’s really something that I’m telling decent, patriot Labour voters that they should be voting for Boris Johnson in this election.”
“I do not want what Jeremy Corbyn has done to the Labour Party to be done to the country,” he added.
The son of a Jewish refugee whose extended family were murdered in the Holocaust, Mr Austin expressed his disbelief that Labour had become the first political party in history to be investigated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission for anti-Jewish racism. He further accused Corbyn and senior Labour figure John McDonnell of supporting extremists and terrorists.
“I think he’s spent his entire time in politics working with and defending all sorts of extremists, and in some cases, antisemites and terrorists,” he told BBC host Nick Robinson.
What is happening inside Labour is beyond party politics.
I hope every voter watches this speech:pic.twitter.com/sKNLgAeVk0
— Steve Baker (@SteveBakerHW) October 30, 2019
“I don’t think he’s a patriot. I don’t think he loves this country. He always picks this country’s enemies — whether that’s the IRA during the Troubles, describing Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends’, or parroting Putin’s propaganda when the Russians sent hitmen to murder people on the streets of Britain.
“Most shamefully of all, for a party that’s got a proud record of fighting for equality and opposing racism, the Labour Party has been poisoned with anti-Jewish racism under his leadership,” he said.
The former Labour MP made the comments in light of the news of deputy Labour leader Tom Watson announcing that he would be stepping down from his role and will not be standing for MP in the December 12th election.
Mr Watson said that he was resigning for “personal, not political” reasons. However, as an ardent Remainer, he had clashed with Mr Corbyn over his failure to fully embrace cancelling Brexit. He also faced a challenge at home with his constituency of West Bromich East having voted 66 per cent in favour of Leave in the 2016 referendum.
Labour Votes to Open Borders, Give All Migrants Voting Rights, NHS Access https://t.co/yBpYN6SQsZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 26, 2019
When challenged by the BBC whether the Tories had “offered” the MP anything to come out in support of Mr Johnson, Mr Austin said: “I don’t need to be offered anything to say that Corbyn is unfit to run this country.”
“I think this man is unfit to run the country,” he reiterated and criticised the far-leftist’s economic policies which he said would be bad for the UK.
“I think [Labour’s] economic policies would make our country worse. Worse off, not better off. I think they would chase away investment. I think they would put businesses and jobs at risk,” he said.
While having voted Remain himself, Mr Austin was one of only a handful of Labour MPs who backed Theresa May’s exit agreement and is against a second referendum. The MP, who will not be standing in next month’s election, criticised Corbyn’s plan to negotiate a weaker Brexit deal with the EU, put it to a referendum against Remain, and then campaign for Remain.
“I think Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit policy is a complete fantasy. The idea that he would be able to do a better deal in a few short weeks and we’ll get a good deal when he says he’s going to subject it to a referendum,” he said.
Corbyn Refuses to Rule out Cancelling Brexit as Price for Power-Sharing with Liberal Democrats https://t.co/OUA1y2BQdv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 6, 2019