Published On: Mon, Mar 12th, 2018

'You said they were racist!' Vince Cable torn apart by John Humphrys over Brexit smear

Sir Vince Cable used a keynote speech at the Liberal Democrat Party conference to claim the vote was “driven by nostalgia” and the older generation was responsible for Britain’s decision to leave the .

BBC presenter John Humphrys accused Sir Vince of implying “people who voted for Brexit were not only old but many of them were racist” during the fiery debate on the Today programme.

The Lib Dem leader claimed he “didn’t suggest that at all” but was torn into by Mr Humphrys who said: “Too many were driven by a nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white.”

The Lib Dem leader hit back and said: “The first point was a simple matter of fact. I know it is uncomfortable that the simple truth of the matter is that the older generation, my generation, the majority voted Brexit whereas for the younger generation, talking under 25s but indeed a wider group than that, voted to remain.

“So there was a big differential between generations.”

Mr Humphrys continued to grill the politician and said: “But you went further than that and said that faces were white.”

In response, Sir Vince said: “I did go further than that. One of the factors was indeed nostalgia.

“I mean, why else has so much fuss been made about the change in the colour of the passports and of course younger people have no recollection of.”

The host said Sir Vince’s claims were a “side issue”. He said: “The idea that people voted Brexit because they are essentially racist, they wanted white faces. I mean, you use the word white faces.”

Sir Vince said: “Let me just explain it to the extent in which I touched on the race issue at all in 40 minutes. Actually, my main criticism was of my own party that they weren’t sufficient…”

The Lib Dem leader said the point he was trying to make during his party speech was the difference between generations.

During the shock speech, Sir Vince said: “I confess that my own initial reaction to the referendum was to think there was little choice but to pursue Brexit. I thought ‘the public have voted to be poorer. That is their right.’

“What changed my mind was the evidence that Brexit had overwhelmingly been the choice of the older generation. 75 percent of under 25s voted to Remain. But 70 percent of over 65s voted for Brexit.

“Too many were driven by a nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white, and the map was coloured imperial pink.”

Responding to Mr Cable’s remarks, Furious Tory Brexiteer Nadine Dorries tweeted: “What an arrogant and offensive man.

“His disdain for 17.5 million voters is shocking and a plain stupid position for a party polling on seven percent just like it was 30 yrs ago. You need to apologise Mr Cable!”

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