Labour has been "almost invisible" in the EU referendum campaign according to research from Loughborough academics

Mark Sands
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Labour MPs like Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson have failed to break into the public consciousness during the Brexit debate, academics say. (Source: Getty)

The Labour Party is “almost invisible” in TV and print coverage of the EU referendum campaign, according to academics, with Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to appear alongside the Prime Minister one of the reasons to blame.

A study from Loughborough University found that Labour representatives appear in less than four per cent of TV coverage, and eight per cent of print coverage between 19 May and 1 June.

Similarly, no Labour politicians figure in the campaigns in the top ten most frequently cited individuals.

Report co-author Professor James Stanyer said: “This is in part due to the dominance of the Conservative ‘blue on blue’ conflict, but will also be down to Jeremy Corbyn’s reluctance to share a platform with the Tories.

“With many believing it will be the Labour voters who ultimately decide the vote on the 23rd, their party’s lack of visibility across press and television will be a major concern.”

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The figures show a worsening in the party's representation from the first phase of the study, with the number of television appearances dropping by over 40 per cent.

And similarly, issues on which Labour has sought to focus in the campaign, including employment, have been described as “either absent or marginal” by the academics.

Prime Minister David Cameron was the most frequently featured figure, overtaking former London mayor Boris Johnson, while the coverage afforded to women has also increased, with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and employment minister Priti Patel the first women to figure among the ten most popular individuals.

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