Labour's Brexit divides widen as Sadiq Khan opens door to call for second referendum

Labour Party Conference 2017- Day Two
Source: Getty

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has suggested Labour could call for a second referendum on Brexit, further exposing the party's divisions.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Khan said it was “possible” that Labour’s next manifesto would offer voters a vote on whether to accept the terms of leaving the EU.

Khan, who ruffled no party feathers during his speech to the Labour party conference yesterday, said he did not see any Brexit deal emerging that would be good enough to accept without offering a second referendum.

“I so far have not been persuaded how this government has a plan that works for our country,” he said.

“I’d have my tuppence worth as mayor of London."

The Labour party's shadow City minister Jonathan Reynolds rebuffed Khan's call for a second referendum, saying last year's vote was conclusive.

"We have got to understand that [the referendum] was an articulation of dissatisfaction...We cannot keep having referendums, we have got to get on with having the right position," Reynolds said at a fringe event.

Meanwhile, Kezia Dugdale – Labour’s former leader in Scotland, agreed – told the Daily Record: “If the UK Parliament and the other 27 nations of Europe get a final say on the deal, why shouldn’t we?”

But Labour has shut down all official debate on Brexit, thanks to a Momentum-backed move to block a vote on whether the party should support retaining single market membership. In an email to delegates, the grassroots campaign called the issue a "cul-de-sac".

The block has drawn the ire of several high profile MPs, who variously said it would make the party a "laughing stock", "undermines the claim that we are listening to our members" and was "utterly ridiculous".

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell admitted Labour had not reached a consensus on Brexit, saying the party was unlikely to be at that point within the next six months.