Jeremy Corbyn has defended his promise to stay neutral in a second EU referendum, saying the stance is a sign of “strength and maturity”.
The Labour leader has drawn some criticism for saying he would not take sides in his proposed public vote on a new Brexit deal he would negotiate if he becomes prime minister.
The Conservatives accused Mr Corbyn of “deciding to be indecisive” on the biggest issue facing the country, while Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson accused him of an “absence of leadership”.
Asked about his stance on an election campaign stop in Sheffield, the Labour leader said he was offering a “sensible way forward” which can unite the country.
“I think being an honest broker and listening to everyone is actually a sign of strength and a sign of maturity,” he said.
“My role as the Labour prime minister would be to ensure that is carried out in a fair way, that the offers put are fair, and that I will carry out the result of that referendum.
“I think this is actually a sensible way forward that actually can bring people together.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Saturday it “won’t wash” with voters.
“He has actively decided to be indecisive on the biggest issue of the day. It won’t wash with voters,” he said.
“I think it is an absolute disaster.
“You can’t ask this country to be its prime minister while not having a view on the biggest issue of the day.”
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Ms Swinson said: “This is the biggest issue facing our country for generations and he is just saying he is not interested in telling people what he thinks.
“To me, I think that is a total absence of leadership. Remainers in this country need a leader, not a bystander.”
Elsewhere in the campaign:
- Labour has launched its youth manifesto, promising to spend an extra £1bn on youth services
- Mr Corbyn has promised to stop multinational companies offshoring their tax bills to “lower tax regimes” and force them to pay their fair share of tax in the UK.
- The Tories are set to announce a three-point plan for adult social care at their manifesto launch on Sunday
- The party has also announced plans to introduce a guaranteed minimum service level during rail strikes
- Creative subjects will be given the “same footing” as the rest of the school curriculum, Ms Swinson has said
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