Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) has defied Jeremy Corbyn and voted against not only his own party, but the majority of voters in Wales, by backing an amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for Britain to remain within the Customs Union and the Single Market.
Doughty was one of 49 Labour MPs to openly defy Jeremy Corbyn – signalling that the pre-election fence-mending between the Penarth MP and his party leader is over.
Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn fired three of his shadow ministers – Andy Slaughter, Ruth Cadbury and Catherine West for backing a Queen’s Speech amendment which calls for the UK to remain in the Single Market [ which is against official Labour Party policy] A fourth shadow minister resigned.
The rebel Queen’s Speech amendment had been led by Chuka Umunna who said “I’ll keep fighting to keep us in the Single Market and Customs Union -the best deal for the UK”
Stephen Doughty received scorn on social media overnight for failing to support the official Labour policy on the EU [ i.e. to abide by the majority vote in last year’s UK referendum to withdraw from the EU]
One poster on Twitter – “Technideb”- went as far as calling Doughty a “traitor” and pointing out that the majority of voters in Wales had voted to Leave the EU .
The Financial Times reported today that “Mr Corbyn and Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary, were said to be frustrated with Mr Umunna and Mr Doughty over their tactics, since they were never likely to peel away pro-EU Tory rebels in a vote on the Queen’s Speech.”
Immediately before the General Election it had appeared to some that Doughty was attempting to restore his fractured relationship with Jeremy Corbyn.
That relationship had been broken last year when Doughty – having been promoted by Corbyn to become a Labour junior foreign affairs spokesman – abruptly resigned live on a BBC tv show in the vain hope that it would create an avalanche of further resignations and force Corbyn to quit as party leader.
The plan – such as it was – didn’t work and Corbyn went on to consolidate his leadership of the Labour Party, despite Doughty’s best efforts.