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Former Norwich Labour MP Charles Clarke: I voted Liberal Democrat too

PUBLISHED: 20:42 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:37 29 May 2019

Former Norwich South MP Charles Clarke outside the Forum in Norwich      
Picture: James Bass

Former Norwich South MP Charles Clarke outside the Forum in Norwich Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Former Norwich South MP and home secretary Charles Clarke has backed Alastair Campbell in his Labour membership row - and admitted he also voted Liberal Democrat in the European Parliament elections.

Alastair Campbell, who has been expelled from the Labour Party after admitting he voted for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections        PHOTO: David Mirzoeff/PA WireAlastair Campbell, who has been expelled from the Labour Party after admitting he voted for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections PHOTO: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Mr Campbell, who was Tony Blair communications chief in the 1990s and early 21st century, was kicked out of the party on Tuesday after declaring that he had backed the Lib Dems in Thursday's elections.

Now Mr Clarke - Labour MP for Norwich South from 2001 to 2010 - has released a statement demanding Labour "should immediately withdraw its expulsion of Alastair".

He said: "I was not aware that Alastair had voted Liberal Democrat in the European election until I heard him say so on television on Sunday evening.

"His expulsion from Labour Party membership is a disgrace and only compounds Labour's current political difficulties.

"I also voted Liberal Democrat. This was a one-off decision because of the hopeless incoherence of Labour's position, particularly that of Jeremy Corbyn, on Brexit.

"I have been a Labour Party member for 47 years and have never before voted anything but Labour. I was chair of the Labour Party in 2001-02.

"I have consistently argued against those who, often in understandable despair at the Labour leadership's abandonment of Labour's fundamental values, have either resigned from the Labour Party or joined another party."

Mr Clarke said he would vote for "Labour's excellent MP for Cambridge" in the next general election.

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