Best known for his role as Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, actor Patrick Stewart has been a supporter of the Labour Party since holding up posters for it in the 1945 general election at the age of 5.
But now that’s changing.
The news comes in an interview with The New European:
I ask him if he will be voting Labour again, and, after a long pause, he says, in a quiet and sad voice, probably not – so long as it supports Brexit and seems unable to deal swiftly and decisively with obvious evils such as anti-Semitism…
“I am not a politician and I am not a strategist, but I have a suspicion Jeremy [Corbyn] believes a disastrous Brexit would benefit him politically, and, in all the chaos and confusion that would occur after the policy is implemented – in either a hard or a soft way, I might add – he sees himself taking power. It seems to me to be just plain wrong to play with the country’s future in this way.
“What Jeremy doesn’t appear to understand is that it would be the easiest thing in the world to attack the government on Brexit and to oppose it at every turn and to tear apart their arguments and expose it for what it is. There is, after all, nothing that is more opposed to basic Labour values than Brexit and I think just about everyone except him can now see that.”
Patrick Stewart is, however, optimistic about the longer-term future:
I think we will come out of this experience a lot stronger. We have all of us learnt from it. I think it will make us appreciate basic freedoms and rights that in the past perhaps we took too much for granted. I think we will look back on it as a turning point in our history.
Note: it’s worth emphasising that Patrick Stewart has tweeted to confirm that this interview quotes him accurately. Some other reports misquoted his comments but the above quotes are an accurate reporting of his views. Which alas hasn’t stopped some responding to this post with ‘fake news’ comments on social media. The irony is that they’re spreading fake news themselves, as Stewart really did say the above.