- Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
- Labour Party authorities boot out grandee Alastair Campbell for voting for the Liberal Democrats.
- Campbell, who supports the People’s Vote campaign for a new referendum, backed the anti-Brexit Lib Dems in the European elections, despite being a member of the Labour Party.
- He said he was “sad and disappointed” to be expelled by the Labour Party.
- Campbell served as former Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s head of communications.
- A Labour Party spokesperson told Business Insider: “Support for another political party or candidate is incompatible with Party membership.”
LONDON – Alastair Campbell, the Labour Party’s former head of communications, has been booted out of the party after voting for the Liberal Democrats in last week’s European Parliament elections.
Campbell, who was former prime minister Tony Blair’s head of communications, said on Tuesday that he had been expelled by Labour Party authorities after backing the anti-Brexit Lib Dems on Thursday.
In a thread of tweets, he said he was “sad and disappointed” to be kicked out of the party.
Campbell is an ardent Remain campaigner and supports the People’s Vote campaign for a new referendum.
He is among a number of senior Labour figures who have been calling on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to fully commit to holding a new referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
Labour’s long-standing policy has been to retain close ties with the EU but ultimately leave the bloc.
As a result, it lost swathes of Remain voters to the anti-Brexit Lib Dems and Green Party in the European elections last week, with the former leapfrogging Labour to finish second place nationally.
Corbyn has since the European election results shifted Labour policy towards more explicit support for a new referendum, saying that Labour would back a referendum on any Brexit deal.
He previously said that Labour only supported a referendum to block no-deal or a “damaging” deal negotiated by the Conservative government.
A Labour Party spokesperson told Business Insider that the party had no choice but to expel Campbell.
“Support for another political party or candidate is incompatible with Party membership,” they said.
They added: “The Lib Dems cannot and will not end austerity. They cannot bring our country together or be trusted to deliver on their promises. They propped up the Tories for five years and imposed the austerity that has devastated our communities.”
“Labour will do things very differently, and ensure our society is run for the benefit of the many, not just a privileged few.”