CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Camden For Europe endorses Labour’s Tulip Siddiq ahead of general election

EU campaigners say Labour candidate should be recognised for rebelling against Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit

04 May, 2017 — By Richard Osley

Tulip Siddiq campaigning in West Hampstead this week

A GROUP which came together from across the political divide to fight the United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union has endorsed Tulip Siddiq for the knife-edge Hampstead and Kilburn seat.

Labour supporters were thrilled that Camden For Europe sent out a newsletter urging its members living in the constituency to back Ms Siddiq, as a recognition for voting against Brexit in the House of Commons and rebelling against Jeremy Corbyn’s position.

It said: “Camden for Europe suggests supporting Tulip Siddiq’s campaign – whether you live in her constituency or not. This is a key marginal. She has an excellent record on Europe. She resigned from the Labour front bench over the Article 50 vote. It is an extremely close seat and on current poll projections Tulip will be defeated by the Conservative candidate. While the Conservative candidate is mildly pro-remain, she would, if elected, like the hundreds of other pro-remain Conservative MPs, almost certainly vote for the Prime Minister’s policy and deal on Brexit.”

The group is not endorsing any candidate in Holborn and St Pancras, the constituency held by Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer. Labour has so far ruled out a second referendum and said freedom of movement will have to be restricted.

Ms Siddiq said: “I’m delighted with this endorsement. I’ve challenged the Prime Minister more times than any other backbencher at weekly questions. My track record shows I’ve fought relentlessly for accesss to the single market, workers’ rights and protection for EU nationals.”

She added that she would be a “strong independent voice” on Brexit negotiations in parliament if returned as the MP on June 8.

Conservative candidate Claire-Louise Leyland voted to remain in the EU but is now backing Theresa May to guide the country through the process of leaving. She said: “I campaigned for Remain, but whatever your view on Brexit, we need a plan to get us through. Both Labour and Conservatives are committed to Brexit, but only Theresa May has a plan to make it work.”

It is understood that some members of Camden For Europe were unhappy about the endorsement, particularly Liberal Democrats, who are concerned that it will undermine their candidate Kirsty Allan’s campaign, which is led on her party’s anti-Brexit line.

Ms Allan told the New Journal last week that Ms Siddiq ultimately represented the Labour party’s overall view on the EU, adding: “I don’t particularly see a distinction between the two parties on this issue. They really are both pushing for Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear that he is not prepared to do anything to stand up to Theresa May. “I’m sure there will be a lot of tactical voting in this area but to my mind Labour and the Tories are both as bad as each other on this issue.”

Andrew Marshall, an independent councillor at the Town Hall who quit the Conservative party over Theresa May’s stance on the way she is leading Britain out of the union, said he would not have endorsed Ms Siddiq, even if she was the best-placed candidate to vote against Brexit. He is voting Liberal Democrat at this election in his home constituency of Holborn and St Pancras.

Cllr Marshall added: “It’s the issue I left the party over, but it’s not the only issue, and I cannot vote for Labour.”

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