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Ex-Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell takes Brexit swipe against Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:37 01 April 2019

Alastair Campbell speaking in Dagenham on Thursday. Picture: JON KING

Alastair Campbell speaking in Dagenham on Thursday. Picture: JON KING

Archant

An ex-spin doctor has accused a Labour MP of not having the courage to support a second Brexit referendum.

Former Downing Street press secretary, Alastair Campbell, warned Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas that leaving the European Union would not end well at the handover of the Londoneast-uk business park to the council last week.

Mr Campbell said: “I say to Jon Cruddas and other people, [Brexit] is not going to end well and you know it’s not going to end well.

“At least have the courage to go back and check with the people.”

Mr Cruddas voted against a second referendum in a series of votes in Parliament.

In response, Mr Cruddas said: “I voted against no deal Brexit positions which would threaten the jobs and livelihoods of my constituents in Dagenham and Rainham.

“However, this changes nothing in terms of the default position to leave the EU.

“I voted against the second referendum amendment and against revoking Article 50, as I don’t think we should vote to cancel Brexit and the result of the referendum.”

Mr Campbell was in town with former Conservative Party contender for mayor of London, Steven Norris, to celebrate the handover of a part of Sonofi’s former site.

SOG Group has handed over part of a business park to Barking and Dagenham Council. Picture: KEN MEARSSOG Group has handed over part of a business park to Barking and Dagenham Council. Picture: KEN MEARS

It was bought for an undisclosed sum from the Runcorn based firm SOG Group by Barking and Dagenham Council in January and is set to become a media, digital and science hub.

The whole park, where 450 jobs were lost when Sonofi moved out, is expected to generate 5,000 jobs and attract £2billion worth of investment.

Mr Campbell quoted former US president Harry S Truman paying tribute to those behind the transformation saying it was amazing what a small group of men could achieve as long as nobody cared who got the credit.

“This, today, is getting good out of bad. The only way to get good out of bad on Brexit is not to do it,” he added.

SOG Group managing director John Lewis speaks to a packed events hall at the park. Picture: KEN MEARSSOG Group managing director John Lewis speaks to a packed events hall at the park. Picture: KEN MEARS

SOG Group managing director, John Lewis, told the audience he would not have sold the site to anyone other than the council and paid tribute to Cllr Darren Rodwell, who he described as the most charismatic council leader he had ever met.

Cllr Rodwell hailed the borough as “the gateway to the world”.

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