Jeremy Corbyn left Leo Varadkar ‘visibly irritated’ by Labour's lack of Brexit plan

Posted on Sep 19 2020 - 12:39am by admin

During a meeting in Dublin in the lead up to the UK election, Mr Varadkar posed three questions to the former Labour leader, which he was unable to answer. One member of the delegation is said to have described it as a highly “embarrassing” moment. It also pushed the Irish Taoiseach towards a compromise with Boris Johnson on the Irish border.

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The moment was recounted in a new book, ‘Left Out’ which charts Mr Corbyn’s final period of the party leadership.

Written by Patrick Maguire and Gabriel Pogrund, Mr Corbyn was unable to answer how the Labour leader would deal with Mr Johnson as Prime Minister, whether the party would support a second referendum and what they would support from the Tories.

According to the book, Mr Corbyn was also uncertain over the UK’s future relationship with the EU and could only comment on the protection of the Irish community in his north London constituency.

An extract of the book quoted the individual as saying: “Corbyn instead filled the vacuum by stressing his desire to protect the rights of the Irish community in Archway, at the northernmost edge of his constituency.

Jeremy Corbyn: How Labour left Varadkar 'irritated'

Jeremy Corbyn: How Labour left Varadkar ‘irritated’ (Image: PA)

Jeremy Corbyn: The two met in Dublin

Jeremy Corbyn: The two met in Dublin (Image: PA)

“One observer described Varadkar as visibly irritated by the Labour delegation’s lack of the hard answers he sought.

“I don’t think they saw any great trust or belief that Labour wanted anything or could push anything through.

“In Ireland we felt a deep frustration from them in particular that we were just wasting people’s time by that point.”

Mr Varadkar’s office has not commented on the claims.

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Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit position was criticised

Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit position was criticised (Image: PA)

Eventually, Mr Corbyn decided on a strategy where his party would call a second referendum following the 2019 election.

While calling the election, the party would adopt a neutral stance.

Mr Corbyn said prior to the election: “My role and the role of our government will be to ensure that that referendum is held in a fair atmosphere and we will abide by the result of it.

“And I will adopt, as prime minister, if I am at the time, a neutral stance so that I can credibly carry out the results of that to bring communities and country together rather than continuing an endless debate about the EU and Brexit.”

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Brexit news; Mr Varadkar was left frustrated

Brexit news; Mr Varadkar was left frustrated (Image: PA)

Brexit news: The Brexit strategy cost Mr Corbyn the election

Brexit news: The Brexit strategy cost Mr Corbyn the election (Image: PA)

Due to this stance, however, Mr Corbyn lost crucial seats in the North and Midlands which led to his party suffering a huge electoral defeat.

The party only managed to win 202 seats in the election which marked its worst election performance since 1935.

In other extracts of ‘Left Out’, it was revealed that aides believed the party leader was deliberately missing events during his campaign trail.

An aide told the book, the former Labour leader ran over time on several events and cancelled certain trips to areas in the Midlands.

One aide said: “JC was deliberately adding extra things and talking to people to delay and then spoke for 30 mins plus at the campaign stop once they had arrived 40 mins late.”

Another said: “It was like he’d had a breakdown.

Brexit news: Leo Varadkar

Brexit news: Leo Varadkar (Image: PA)

“He just wouldn’t drop the stuff about the diary and dialling onto the calls.

“It was his way of trying to regain control.”

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