LONDON (Reuters) - The man expected to win control of Britain’s opposition Labour Party said on Thursday that he voted ‘No’ to Britain’s membership of the forerunner to the European Union in a 1975 referendum.
Labour supporters are selecting a leader whose first major test will be to steer the 115-year-old party through a referendum on Britain’s EU membership by the end of 2017 ahead of a national election in 2020.
In 1975, Britons were asked “Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?” They voted 67 to 33 to stay in.
When asked by a Reuters reporter at a campaign rally in North London how he voted in the 1975 referendum, Jeremy Corbyn said: “I did vote and I voted ‘No’.”
Corbyn, who wants to return Labour to its socialist roots, is the frontrunner for the leadership of the party after its electoral defeat in the May election. The new leader is due to be announced on Saturday.
Reporting by William James, editing by Guy Faulconbridge