POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn And Owen Smith In Bitter Labour Leadership Debate Spat Over EU Referendum

'I’m not even sure Jeremy did vote Remain'

25/08/2016 20:37 | Updated 26 August 2016

Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith clashed bitterly over the EU referendum on Thursday evening, as the two men took part in a live Labour leadership debate.

Smith repeatedly asked Corbyn if he had actually voted ‘Remain’. And Corbyn hit back, accusing his rival of behaving like the Daily Mail.

The two men also fought over the UK’s membership of Nato, the use of the word “lunatic”, Britian’s nuclear weapons, Labour’s performance in Scotland as well as the tone of the leadership debate.

Smith has said he would seek to block the Conservative government invoking Article 50, the formal process of Brexit. Whereas Corbyn has said the referendum result should be accepted.

“Jeremy has never wanted us to stay within the EU,” Smith said. “I’m not even sure Jeremy did vote ‘In’.”

“Are you absolutely certain you voted ‘In’?” Smith repeated. “I would like to hear you confirm you voted ‘In’.”

Corbyn snapped back: “I thought we re grown up and weren’t any longer going to use those kind of question or those kind of remarks. 

“I voted ‘Remain’ and I am very surprised and actually quite disappointed you should actually raise this question.”

He added: “The only people who raised that question were the Daily Mail at the time.”

Former Labour shadow cabinet minister Chris Bryant has also previously accused Corbyn of failing to confirm which way he voted.

During the debate, Smith also told off Labour members for laughing at the party’s Scottish leader, Kezia Dugdale.

The live debate took place shortly after shadow chancellor John McDonnell dramatically accused Labour Party officials of trying to rig the leadership contest against Corbyn.

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