Labour Party has suffered under Corbyn's leadership, says top Labour donor John Mills

 
Josh Martin
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Labour is out of touch, says shopping magnate John Mills (Source: Getty)

The Labour Party has lost touch under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Labour's biggest individual donor John Mills has said.

Mills, the founder of shopping firm JML Group and chair of Labour Leave, told City A.M. that Corbyn's views don't necessarily reflect that of the party.

Mills, who donated £1.65m of shares in his shopping channel company to the party, said the Labour leader should "think carefully" about the party's policies.

On being asked where Corbyn went wrong, Mills said: "As Labour leader, he [Corbyn] should be concerned about Labour voters not voting for Labour policies.

Mills quoted figures from Lord Ashcroft's referendum poll according to which 63 per cent of Labour voters voted Remain and Labour voters made up four in every 10 remainers and only two in 10 leavers.

"Corbyn is disappointed about the result of the EU referendum as many others.

"He went wrong by not backing Leave and the party being divided on the EU issue is not a happy position.

"The party should've been more constructive and critical towards the EU and should have recognised that people are concerned about immigration, democracy, employment and the EU turning into a super-state."

"It wasn't wise of the Labour party to neglect the fact that EU issues split the party."

Read more: The petition for a second EU referendum just passed 1,000,000 signatures

Mills' comments come as the Labour leader is facing a vote of no confidence over his "lacklustre" campaigning for Britain remaining in the EU.

Corbyn said earlier today that he does not plan to step down as Labour leader and will stand again in case of a leadership contest.

Mills said Corbyn stepping down and standing again will create "more ill feeling and no change".

Speaking about whether Corbyn could be Britain's next Prime Minister in the next general election, the millionaire businessman said more needs to be done "to bring the party together" to fulfil his ambitions to lead the country.

"The Labour party needs to re-think how to position its policies. It's lost touch with voters in the industrial heartland and on key issues like employment and immigration."

Brexit Britain: What you need to know

The Labour Leave chair, who quit Vote Leave as deputy chair in April, said the pound hitting a record low after a Brexit vote is "a good thing".

"I think the pound going down is a good thing as its overvalued and has been propped up by property prices. A low pound is good for our exports and manufacturing."

The eurosceptic businessman hit out at financial markets for taking a dull view after Brexit.

"Financial markets are taking a very gloomy view about Brexit. Britain will definitely prosper outside the EU. Leaving the EU will lead to lower tariffs, a fairer wage competition and help exports too.

"That said, Brexit is a smaller issue for the EU economy, we need to do discuss debt, de-industrialisation and unemployment among other matters," he said.

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