South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said that she “despises” what Mr Farage’s party stands for, but could not work with a party which wants to withdraw the Article 50 letter informing the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU.
Her comments were branded “disturbing” by Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, who said that some Labour MPs were so keen to deliver Brexit that they would put Farage into government.
Ms Lewell-Buck was confronted with the unpalatable coalition choice in a series of quickfire questions on ITV News’ Acting Prime Minister podcast.
Asked if she would prefer to go into coalition with the Brexit Party or Lib Dems, her voice dropped to a whisper as she said: “I will be vilified for this, but the Brexit Party.
“Even though I despise everything they stand for, I could not go into league with somebody who wants to revoke Article 50.
“It makes me feel sick saying that, but looking at it, yeah.”
Ms Swinson, who revealed days ago that the Lib Dems were hardening their pro-referendum stance to support out-and-out revocation of Article 50, responded in a tweet.
“This is really disturbing,” said the Lib Dem leader. “Nigel Farage openly stokes racism, hatred and division, but some people in the Labour Party are so determined to deliver Brexit they’d put him in Government.”
Rania Ramli, the chair of Labour Students and a supporter of the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum, said: “Labour members will be extremely disappointed at the idea that a Labour MP would consider that putting the vile Farage into power would be an acceptable outcome in any circumstances.
“Labour values are those of openness and internationalism – which is why three-quarters or more want the UK to stay in the EU – and the fact that a Labour MP is prepared to consider putting the Brexit Party into office will dismay our voters all over the UK.”
Ms Lewell-Buck lost her frontbench role as children’s spokeswoman when she voted against a second EU referendum against orders to abstain from Jeremy Corbyn earlier this year.
She told the Shields Gazette that she received “hate and a lot of abuse” on social media following the release of the podcast, but insisted that listeners should realise it was “a fantasy question”.
“It shouldn’t come as a shock to them that I’d want to deliver the outcome of the referendum,” she said.
“For me, it was a fantasy question … but I opted to go with the party who appears to be supporting delivering the outcome. The notion that I would ever made that decision in reality and be in a position to make that decision is laughable.”