Labour’s Euro vote disaster can mean only one thing: Corbyn must go, says DOMINIC MIDGELY

Voted in by a landslide mostly consisting of millennial party members who tend to be passionately pro-EU, the Labour Party leader has spent the past three and a half years facing both ways on the question that preoccupies them most. He has got away with it up till now because the Tories have been in such disarray that they have made the Labour high command look a model of stability in comparison. But his party's disastrous showing in the European elections has exposed the extent of the membership's disillusionment with its leader. It won just 15 percent of the vote, ending up with only 10 seats – half the number it won five years ago – and finished third behind the LibDems.

And while Corbyn has been embroiled in controversy over a wide range of issues from anti-Semitism to his plan to nationalise the public utilities, there can be no doubt it is his attitude to Europe that has done him and his party most harm.

His Euroscepticism has its roots in an economic view of the world from the 1970s, when unions so often held the government and business to ransom.

He sees the EU as a sinister organisation that promotes the free market and is dominated by global corporations.

When he was asked in the run-up to the referendum to rate his passion for remaining in the EU on a scale of one to 10, he replied "seven, or seven and a half".

This lukewarm approach was highlighted by his refusal to campaign for a "Yes" vote alongside David Cameron and his decision to go on holiday in the middle of the campaign.

Theresa May was dubbed a "submarine" in the referendum campaign due to her determination to stay low key and avoid being branded a committed Remainer when it came to any future leadership contest.

Given the infrequency of his own appearances on the stump, perhaps Corbyn's could best have been described as a deepsea diving bell.

And there is evidence that he and his people were doing their best to undermine the Remain campaign behind the scenes too.

According to Phil Wilson, the Labour MP who succeeded Tony Blair as the member for Sedgefield, Corbyn's office "resisted all polling and focus group evidence on message and tone, raised no campaign finance, failed to engage with the campaign delivery and deliberately weakened and damaged the argument Labour sought to make".

As all the world knows, the Remain camp went on to lose the referendum, Cameron resigned and Mrs May won the ensuing leadership contest.

And it was her disastrous decision to call an early general election in 2017 that rehabilitated Corbyn in spectacular style.

Far from increasing her government's majority, she sacrificed it, with Labour adding 30 seats and the Conservatives losing 13.

When Corbyn appeared at the Glastonbury Festival two weeks later, he was received like a conquering hero.

"Corbyn has established an aura of coolness amongst the young because he doesn't try to be something he is not," wrote one music critic in a bid to explain his appeal.

But the humiliation at the euro polls means the honeymoon is over, however.

Enraged by his refusal to fight for a second referendum, many of Corbyn's core supporters deserted him and voted for the Lib Dems, the Greens or Change UK.

Even Tony Blair's former spin doctor Alastair Campbell voted for Sir Vince Cable's party in protest for the first time in his life.

"I'm not Lib Dem," he tweeted. "I'm Labour and I hope that in voting as I did I will help the Labour Party see sense and do the right thing for the country."

By yesterday lunchtime, a succession of Labour bigwigs had called for Labour to campaign for a second referendum on leaving the EU including Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, and Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary.

Even Corbyn's closest ally, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, was calling for a "public vote".

Meanwhile, the man himself was wriggling like a worm on a fish hook as he engaged in a public wrestling match with his conscience.

Never before have the inadequacies of a man who was plucked from the backbenches where he so obviously belongs been so vividly revealed.

It is time for him to go.

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