Brexit LIVE: Blair wades into People’s Vote feud and urges Remainers to thwart Boris’ deal

The former Prime Minister is understood to be desperately trying to unite rival factions and bring an end to the brutal infighting which has left the group, which is pushing for a second Brexit referendum, in total disarray. Insiders said Mr Blair had met campaign leaders and “knocked heads together” in a bid to heal the embarrassing rift between some of his closest allies.

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The apparent power struggle has seen his former spin-doctor Alastair Campbell and New Labour strategist Peter Mandelson pitted against PR man Roland Rudd.

Sources told the Mail on Sunday Mr Blair “broke some eggs rather than bread over lunch on Friday in an attempt to sort things out”.

His intervention is understood to have led to the departure of People’s Vote acting chief executive Patrick Heneghan who was installed last month by Mr Rudd, chairman of the Open Britain group – the largest of five organisations that form People’s Vote.

Tony Blair is trying to defuse a row within the People‘s Vote movement (Image: GETTY)

Mr Heneghan has been accused of acting inappropriately towards three women who work for the second referendum campaign. He denies the allegations and rejected them as “politically-motivated”.

People’s Vote campaign staff issued a statement which said: “Almost two weeks since Roland Rudd, the chair of Finsbury Lobbying, took a wrecking ball to the best political campaign in the UK, the person he imposed as acting CEO has been suspended.

“This decision will at least allow women, who warned the Open Britain board that Patrick Heneghan’s presence represented an unsafe working environment, the chance to re-enter the office.”


Boris Johnson has been accused of proposing a “sell-out” Brexit deal (Image: PA)

10.30am update: Labour refuses to rule out ending freedom of movement

Labour‘s shadow secretary for communities and local government has refused to say whether a Labour government‘s Brexit deal would end freedom of movement.

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The Labour Party wants to negotiate an arrangement where people who live and work in the European Union can continue to do so and EU citizens who live and work in the UK can continue to do so, said Labour‘s Andrew Gwynne.

Pushed on whether the Labour Party‘s manifesto will pledge that freedom of movement will end, Mr Gwynne added: “I‘ll be able to answer more clearly this time next week”.

9.50am update: Labour MP claims party has the ‘clearest‘ answer to Brexit

A Labour MP has claimed Jeremy Corbyn has the “clearest” answer to the Brexit chaos that has engulfed the country.

Appearing on the ‘s Andrew Marr Show, Andrew Gwynne said: “There has to be compromise. The problem that we have had for the last three years is that the Government have not been able to compromise.”

He added: “What we‘re saying is the best and clearest way out of the mess that we are in is to secure that deal based on Labour‘s principles and then to put it back to the country. Not politicians deciding, let the people decide.”

8.30am update: Ulster Unionists accuse Johnson of ‘sell-out‘

The new Ulster Unionist leader has accused Boris Johnson of proposing a “sell-out” Brexit deal.

Steve Aiken said the Prime Minister and his DUP allies made “false promises” over the UK’s departure from the EU.

He said no unionist ever voted for England, Scotland and Wales to leave the EU while Northern Ireland stayed part of the bloc.

Mr Johnson’s proposed deal would involve Northern Ireland following some of the rules of the EU’s single market to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland but including a new regime for goods crossing the Irish Sea.

Mr Aiken said: “It would be a momentous time to assume the leadership of any political party, but now, for Unionism, for those that are pro-union, and those that just believe in Northern Ireland, it has never been more important for the Ulster Unionist Party to be ready to go out and fight for what is right for our nation.”

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