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Sir Keir Starmer hits out at Lib Dems’ Brexit strategy

PUBLISHED: 17:29 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:08 21 April 2017

Sir Keir Starmer    Picture: PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer Picture: PA Images

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed Liberal Democrats’ claims that they are the only opposition to the Tories and that voting for them could halt Brexit.

The MP for Holborn and St Pancras said: “Far from providing the only opposition to the Tories, the Lib Dems not only called for an EU Referendum in 2010 but also joined a Tory Coalition government hell-bent on austerity and savage cuts to public services.”

He was responding to comments made by Lib Dem hopeful Stephen Crosher who is standing against Sir Keir in Holborn and St Pancras. Mr Crosher said: “The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.

“[We are] the only party that embraces the cultural diversity we enjoy in Camden and has a positive vision for the future.”

Kirsty Allan, who is trying to oust Labour’s Tulip Siddiq in neighbouring Hampstead and Kilburn, said: “This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Camden to change the direction of our country. Sufficient votes for the Lib Dems nationally could even halt the process entirely.”

Stephen Crosher.               Picture: Stephen Crosher Stephen Crosher. Picture: Stephen Crosher

She stressed that the people of Camden “voted decisively to remain in the EU”, and “certainly did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us”.

During the January Brexit debate in parliament, Sir Keir defended his party’s decision to vote for the article 50 bill while 73.3 per cent of his constituents voted to remain.

But Sir Keir said: “I campaigned passionately to stay in the EU and I voted to remain. But I am a democrat and I accept the result.

“Instead of pretending that the result can be ignored, I have rolled up my sleeves to fight against a hard Tory Brexit.

“I want to ensure that our collaborative relationship with the EU continues, not as members of the EU but as partners, trading together and cooperating in the fields of science, technology and medicine etc.”

In the 2015 election, Sir Keir won 52.9 per cent of the vote in Holborn and St Pancras with a majority of 17,048.

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