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Jeremy Corbyn thanks Islington's Labour voters after Lib Dems overtake party locally in EU election

PUBLISHED: 15:12 29 May 2019

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a 'Labour In' event during the EU referendum campaign. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a 'Labour In' event during the EU referendum campaign. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn has thanked "everyone in Islington who voted for Labour" in last week's European Union elections - but would not be drawn on what the party's leapfrogging by the Lib Dems means for the borough.

A humbling set of national results for Labour and the Tories saw Corbyn's party come second in its Islington heartland - both he and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry have seats here - with 28.5pc of the popular vote. The resurgent Lib Dems came first on a clear Remain ticket with 29.8pc.

Mr Corbyn has tried to strike a balance between appealing to Leave and Remain voters across the UK - but he's has been increasingly lobbied from within the borough, where 75.2pc voted to stay in the EU, to commit to another referendum.

The Islington North veteran told the Gazette: "I would like to thank everyone in Islington who voted for Labour in these EU elections.

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"We ran a positive campaign attempting to bring our divided country together around our goal of ending austerity and delivering the radical change our country needs, as well as challenging the far-right across Britain and across Europe.

"Labour is absolutely steadfastly committed to avoiding the chaos of a No Deal Brexit, and we will continue to do everything we can to prevent the next Tory leader leading us towards a No Deal exit.

"We need to secure a deal with the European Union and that should be put to the a public vote."

The Labour policy agreed at last year's conference in Liverpool states: "If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote."

Nationally, the Brexit Party and Lib Dems, parties with clear Leave and Remain positions, respectively, stormed it, with the former winning 29 seats and the latter returning 16 MEPs.

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