A union chief and close ally of Jeremy Corbyn has come out fighting against a second referendum on Brexit .
CWU general secretary Dave Ward today claims a ‘People’s Vote’ would "damage democracy" and "give more space to the far right".
In a blunt opinion piece on Mirror.co.uk, the posties’ union chief hit out at its supporters from Tory MP Anna Soubry to Labour’s Chuka Umunna.
And he accused them of fighting for a "status quo, the establishment knows best" mentality.
Mr Ward is understood to have not spoken to Mr Corbyn about his piece today, and his opinion is a personal one. But his intervention comes as Labour is gripped by an urgent internal debate over whether to swing behind a second EU referendum.
Currently the policy is one "option on the table", as agreed by Labour’s party conference in September.
Now pro-EU activists are demanding Jeremy Corbyn backs a second referendum fully after his bid to force an immediate general election failed.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said on the weekend Labour is at the third phase of its policy and suggested it must make a decision.
But Mr Ward, whose Communication Workers Union has just under 200,000 members, writes: "I cannot support a second referendum".
He adds: "Those who live and breathe a second referendum are saying to millions of people: let’s fight for the status quo, the establishment knows best and we should continue on our current course.
"I can think of nothing that would do more damage to our democracy and give more space to the far right."
Mr Ward said in September that although he felt a second referendum would simply re-run old arguments, he still supported all options being on the table.
Today however he writes: "When I see Anna Soubry on a stage outside Parliament being cheered like a heroine, after voting for policies that have put people on the streets, I know it’s not the right path.
"When I see Chuka Umuna, who has made more wrong calls than a non-league referee, saying another referendum is a good idea I know for sure that it’s not."
Mr Ward’s opinion echoes warnings by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, also a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn.
Last month Mr McCluskey warned a second referendum "risks tearing our society further apart, as the ignored majority believe their views have been scorned once again".
He added: "It is democratically implausible to try to set aside a decision taken by a clear majority just two years ago."
It came as Labour moved to clarify comments about a second referendum today by shadow minister Barry Gardiner.
The shadow trade secretary had suggested Labour would back a second referendum motion that was put before Parliament.
But in theory that could have meant backing a referendum motion put forward by another party by the Lib Dems.
Mr Gardiner told the BBC: "If there is a motion for a second referendum that’s put before parliament, our position as a party is that we would be supporting a public vote.
"That’s part of our unanimous decision at our party conference, that all of these, nothing would be ruled off the table at that stage."
In a statement issued by Labour, a spokesperson for Mr Gardiner later said: "Barry is committed to Labour’s policy of pushing for a general election as the best outcome.
"And if the Conservatives continue to block a general election then we will keep all options on the table, including the option of campaigning for a public vote.
"Whipping arrangements in the coming days and weeks will be decided in the usual way."
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