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LONDON – Nick Clegg has said that people should join the Conservatives or Labour if they want to stop Brexit and keep the UK in the European Union.
In his new book, “How To Stop Brexit,” the former Liberal Democrat leader said it “may seem odd” for him to be advocating joining a different political party, but it was “a time of national emergency.”
Clegg, who lost his seat of Sheffield Hallam to Labour at the general election, said those worried about Brexit should “make your voice heard” by joining a political party.
A senior Lib Dem was angered by the book extract, telling the Guardian newspaper: “Nick is not helping at a time when we could do with some message discipline.”
The former deputy prime minister says in the book: “How, you may ask, is it possible to influence a political party? How can you make your views known to Jeremy Corbyn?
“Here’s how: join the Labour party and make your voice heard.”
He writes: “At a time of national emergency, and for as long as parliament is dominated by Labour and Conservative MPs, it is undoubtedly true that what happens within the two larger establishment parties is of the greatest importance.
“So if you can’t stomach joining the Labour party, if you are ideologically inclined in a Conservative direction in any event and if you also believe that Brexit is the issue of our times, then joining the Conservatives is another route to make your views felt.”
Labour and the Conservatives gained the biggest share of the vote since 1970 in June’s general election, as smaller parties such as the Lib Dems were ignored.
A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “Pro-Europeans across the political spectrum should get involved and make their voices heard. The Liberal Democrats are the only party offering people an exit from Brexit.
“Nick is a card-carrying Liberal Democrat and of course wants people to join the party – he is making a wider point that pro-Europeans of all political stripes need to stand up and be counted.”