2 December 2019 | UK NEWS
Former Labour MP Ian Austin, who resigned from the party in February of this year to sit as an independent, and is not contesting next week’s General Election, has sent letters to Labour voters in key marginal seats across the country urging them to vote Conservative this time round.
In his letter, Mr Austin, who formerly represented Dudley North in Parliament, told voters that although Labour had “been [his] life” and he “could never have dreamt of voting for anyone else” until this year, he could “never ask anyone to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister”, adding that Mr Corbyn was “completely unfit to lead our country” and that Labour had been “poisoned by racism, extremism and intolerance”.
Further down his letter, Mr Austin states:
“I know how hard it is for Labour voters to back the Tories, but at the end of this election, either Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister – or Jeremy Corbyn. That’s the choice.”
He ends his letter by saying:
“This hasn’t been an easy decision. But it’s the right one. And I encourage you to vote the same way.”
The letter was paid for by the Conservative Party, and is presumably using their voter data, given that Mr Austin himself will no longer have access to Labour’s own data since his resignation. We at Wolves find this latest development extraordinary and cannot think of a similar occurrence in any past election campaign – although, of course, there is little that could top last week’s entirely unprecedented intervention by the Chief Rabbi.
It has been confirmed that the letters have arrived in the Ipswich, Stroud, Ashfield, Bedford and Cardiff North constituencies, while a source in Crewe & Nantwich – with a Labour majority of only 48 votes – has informed Wolves that they are also due to be sent there. We will bring you further updates if we hear of any further such initiatives.
An example of one of Mr Austin’s letters can be seen here: