High Peak remain campaigner blames EU and Labour for defeat

The Stapleford South West by-election was held on Thursday July 14.
The Stapleford South West by-election was held on Thursday July 14.

A pro-EU activist from the High Peak has blamed a lack of EU reform and politicians’ lack of courage for the ‘disappointing’ EU referendum result.

Charles Lawley, a campaigner for Britain Stronger in Europe, was also particularly scathing about what he says was the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘belated and insincere intervention’ in the campaign.

He did, however, say he was ‘proud’ of everyone in the High Peak area who came out to vote and contributed to a turnout of just over 75%.

He said: “Locally we put up a great fight - to lose only be 601 votes shows what an amazing operation we ran.

“A big congratulations to the local leave campaign. Whilst there was a very negative atmosphere nationally, I felt both campaigns acted with great decorum throughout the campaign.

“Nationally it was a very disappointing result. It’s still early days, but my view is that the reasons are three fold.

“Whilst I believe we are better, stronger and safer in the European Union, the EU failed to listen the populist howl that has been very loud since the last European elections, reforming bigger and sooner would have prevented this. I hope the remaining EU members learn from this.

“Secondly the leaders of the remain campaign chose to, instead of addressing and engaging voters on the issue of immigration, they tried to divert attention towards the economy and few had the political courage to make the positive case for immigration.

“Finally this vote was always going to be decided by the Labour voters and that is just what happens - a lot of blame must lie at the national Labour Party’s door, they are so out of touch with their voters that huge areas of Labour heartland took the UK out of Europe, unconvinced by Jeremy Corbyn’s belated and insincere intervention.

“However, in no way am I criticising the High Peak Labour Party for this. They were passionate, organised and hardworking and we couldn’t have put up such a good fight without them.

“Some people didn’t believe that the economy would suffer for leaving, some didn’t care. People are angry. But we need to all work together now, accept the result and move on to try and steer our country through this challenging time in our history.”