Former Labour MP Ian Austin has urged Labour supporters to vote Conservative in the upcoming general election, declaring that Jeremy Corbyn is “unfit to lead our country”.
The ex-MP for Dudley North has also revealed that he will not be standing for election on December 12th, but instead quitting parliament altogether.
“I can’t believe it has come to this.”
Ex-Labour, now Independent, MP Ian Austin’s emotional appeal for voters to back Boris Johnson over Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election.#r4Today | https://t.co/s6BnQpZL5K | @bbcnickrobinson pic.twitter.com/EpAwl1jGUN
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) November 7, 2019
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Austin said: “I only wanted to be a Labour MP. And I only ever really want to be the Labour MP for Dudley. It’s been such a huge privilege to do this job – a job I’ve loved, a place I love. But I’ve got to be honest with people: I’m not going to run in this election.
“The country faces a big choice. There’s only two people can be prime minister on December the 13th: Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson. And I think Jeremy Corbyn is completely unfit to lead our country. Completely unfit to lead the Labour Party.
“I joined the Labour Party as a teenager. I worked for the Labour Party in my 30s, I was a government adviser. In my 40s. I was an MP and a minister. So it has really come to something when I tell decent, traditional patriotic Labour voters that they should be voting for Boris Johnson at this election. I can’t believe it’s come to this, but that’s where we are.
“I think this is the choice the country faces. The British people are going to decide this. Lots of Labour voters, traditional decent Labour voters are going to be grappling with this question. And if they’ve got to face up to that, then I don’t think people like me should have the luxury of running away from it.
“Look, I could just announce I’m standing down or disappear back to Dudley. You’d never hear from me again. But in the end, I think people have put themselves forward for elected office, positions in politics, have a responsibility to stand up, tell the truth, do what’s right.
“And this is happened on our watch, right? We have responsibility. What Jeremy Corbyn has done to the Labour Party, I don’t want him to be able to do to the country.”
Austin, a former adviser to Gordon Brown, left the Labour Party earlier this year citing concerns about antisemitism.