A Labour frontbencher has deleted a social media post throwing her support behind a fresh referendum on the final Brexit deal – a position at odds with the party’s leadership.
Preet Gill, a shadow international development minister, made the remarks in an exchange with a student activist on social media suggesting a vote was “an absolute must”.
Jeremy Corbyn and senior members of the shadow cabinet have repeatedly dismissed demands for a new EU referendum, with the Labour leader himself saying the party is “not supporting or calling” for one.
But when Ms Gill was asked by student Ellie Keiller on Twitter whether she would join in calling for a people’s vote on the Brexit deal reached by the government, the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston replied: “Great to see the student voice coming out and speaking up!
“I hear you and agree that a people’s vote on the deal is an absolute must,” she added.
According to Politics Home, Ms Gill deleted the post on Monday after her comments were published by the website.
She then posted a second tweet, claiming: “Just to clarify my position – a meaningful vote on deal by parliament is a must which will be informed by the people we represent.”
But Ms Keiller said it was “sad” to see the MP’s tweet had been deleted, adding: “I hope that she and other MPs feel that they can support the views of those in their constituencies and not just that of the Lab[our] line.”
It comes as student organisations with close to a million members joined together and began lobbying MPs for a fresh referendum.
Ms Keiller, who is also president of the University of Birmingham Students’ Guild, told The Independent on Sunday that it is “only fair” that young people get a say on the final Brexit deal.
Referring to a letter from representatives from unions at 60 of the country’s universities and colleges, she said: “I have signed this letter because I want the whole of the UK – including young people – to have a say on the final deal, but at least this time we will know what we are voting for. This is about ensuring an open and fair democracy. We are only asking for an equal say with true information.
“For all these reasons, I am calling on MPs in Birmingham – the youngest city in Europe – to get behind the letter and call for a vote on the final deal.”
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