Jeremy Corbyn has transformed from a “muesli-eating old Trot to champagne socialist”, according to Brexit campaigner Arron Banks in an extraordinary rant at the Labour leader.
Banks, a Ukip donor who is also bankrolling anti-EU campaign group Leave.EU, reacted angrily to a speech from Corbyn in which he claimed a Brexit vote expose the NHS to the "hard right of the Tories and Ukip".
Banks, who made his fortune in the insurance business, issued a statement attacking Corbyn and his change in stance on the EU since becoming Labour leader.
In a statement titled “Fat cat my arse!”, Banks said: "You have to feel sorry for old Jez, really. Voted to leave in '75, voted against Maastricht, voted against Lisbon – but now the Blairites have got him supping cream from the same EU bowl as Cameron, Osborne and the crooked mega-banks who are the real fat cats in this referendum, drooling at the prospect of being able to buy up huge chunks of the health service after Brussels finalises its dodgy TTIP deal with the US.
"That's the real threat to the NHS, and I think we all appreciate that Jeremy knows it, really.
"Just look at what the EU and IMF have done to Greece, lashed by permanent austerity and crushed beneath a debt which can never be repaid; the suicide rate soaring and youth unemployment touching 50%. How could he possibly square all of that with his Labour values?
"Winning the Labour leadership has seen him transform from muesli-eating old Trot to champagne socialist in record time. Even his own brother thinks he'll be casting his personal vote for Brexit once he's in the privacy of the polling booth, but it's a pity he hasn't had the courage of his convictions in public.
"The MPs he's trying to keep on side will still stab him in the back the first chance they get anyway, so he's betrayed his principles for nothing."
Banks also claimed he supported measures to help the burden on the health service which he thought would appeal to Corbyn.
"I once said that I thought wealthier people should pay top-up insurance to help the NHS – the sort of policy which should be music to Jeremy's ears," said Banks.
The actual 'fat cat' jibe did not come from Corbyn, but from Daily Mirror Associate Editor Kevin Maguire.