Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell has said he does not want to rejoin the Labour party after he was expelled for voting for the Liberal Democrats in May’s European elections.
Campbell, a former political journalist who served as the former Prime Minister’s chief press secretary until 2000, said he did not want to return to the party because it had been “taken over” and had failed to show leadership on issues such as Brexit and an internal problem with anti-semitism.
In a letter to Jeremy Corbyn published in the New European, Campbell said: “With some sadness but absolute certainty, I have reached the conclusion that I no longer wish to stay in the party, even if I should be successful in my appeal or legal challenge.”
The Labour party expelled Campbell in May after he revealed he had voted for the Lib Dems in the European elections because they had campaigned on a ticket to remain in the EU. Party rules state that voting for another party warrants automatic suspension.
At the time, Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, branded the decision “spiteful” and called for an exception for party members who had voted for other parties because of Brexit.
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Campbell said: “This Labour party is not the Labour party of Clement Attlee, it’s not the Labour party of Harold Wilson, it is not the Labour party of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. It has been taken over by communists and Stalinists.”
Campbell said he feared Boris Johnson was preparing to “clear the decks towards a general election”, adding: “He thinks, probably rightly, that the country has decided it will not put Jeremy Corbyn into office.
“I think there is a danger that we’re going to be destroyed as a serious credible political force unless we face up to the reality of what’s going on.”
The Lib Dems took 20 per cent of the vote share in the EU elections and 16 seats in the EU parliament, behind the Brexit party which took 32 per cent of the vote and 29 seats.
Labour won 14 per cent and 10 seats, while the Conservatives came fifth place behind the Greens, with nine per cent of the vote and four seats.
When asked whether he would join the Lib Dems, Campbell said he was not “close to other parties” and had not yet decided who to vote for at the next election.