Potential UK Labour Party leader Emily Thornberry has been accused by fellow parliamentarians of calling the party’s supporters, who voted "Leave" in the Brexit referendum, stupid. Caroline Flint claimed she heard Ms Thornberry saying to one of her colleagues: "I am glad my constituents aren’t as stupid as yours".
Emily Thornberry who is Shadow Foreign Secretary and shadow First Secretary of State categorically denied the accusations. Taking to Twitter she said Ms Flint’s allegation was an “utter lie”.
The quote Caroline attributed to me today is a total and utter lie. I’ve never said that to anyone, nor anything like it, nor would I ever think it. I once told Michael Fallon: ‘You can’t just go round making things up.’ Whatever our differences, let’s not sink into that gutter.— Emily Thornberry (@EmilyThornberry) December 15, 2019
People commenting on her tweet voiced scepticism about her statement and said they side with Ms Flint in this situation.
Caroline Flint made the statement about Ms Thornberry during an interview with Sky News, in which she spoke about the reasons for Labour’s loss in last week’s general election and also about who may lead the party after the incumbent head, Jeremy Corbyn steps down. Labour displayed its worst election performance since the 1930s, losing 59 seats in Parliament. Flint, who is among the parliamentarians that lost their seats, said MPs who ardently supported "Remain" contributed to election loss.
"I don’t believe anybody who has been the architects of our European policy in the last few years is credible to be leader. I don’t think they can win back their seats. I don’t believe there is any credibility for these people", she said.
The 58-year-old warned fellow parliamentarians against thinking that a change of leader would guarantee Labour success in the next election. “We shouldn’t think for one minute that a change of leader is gonna create an election victory for us”, she said. Flint also blamed Labour’s defeat on the party’s Brexit stance and the policy platform that promised everything to everyone and which led voters to doubt that Labour would deliver on its promises.
Flint, who voted "Leave" during the Brexit campaign, previously said she would respect the choice of the people, but blamed the party’s defeat on its leader Jeremy Corbyn claiming that long-time supporters found it hard to back the party "whilst that man is your leader". The 58-year-old also noted that disrespect has been meted out to Labour voters who backed "Remain" in the Brexit referendum, prompting them to turn to the Conservative Party.