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People's Vote Islington: Councillors support election-first amendment but referendum still an option

PUBLISHED: 10:52 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:00 14 December 2018

Europe Supporters in Islington, London. 23/06/2016 | usage worldwide

Europe Supporters in Islington, London. 23/06/2016 | usage worldwide

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Islington's sole opposition councillor urged her Labour colleagues to back second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal on Thursday - but the council chief mocked her town hall protest and won support for an election-first amendment.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green, Highbury East) brought a motion calling on full council to support a People’s Vote, which noted 75.2 per cent of Islington’s electorate backed remain in 2016.

She warned “the sequencing” of events was important and that the Labour could “scupper” the possibility of a peoples vote by campaigning for a general election and letting the opportunity pass by.

She added: “I think the people in Islington will want assurances that [if they can’t force an election} Labour will prioritise calling for a People’s Vote and not dither.”

But Islington boss Cllr Richard Watts tabled an amendment calling for an election if Theresa May’s deal is voted down, which said the council would support “all options remaining on the table” including a fresh referendum, if this proved impossible. The amended motion was carried.

Cllr Richard Watts said: “I think it’s a pity that this motion was introduced with no consultation.

“I was surprised to see a demonstration, if you can call it that, with [representation from the] Green Party and discredited Liberal Democrat Party.

“I do not think turning this issue into a political football is of benefit to residents.”

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