The extraordinary clash turned nasty when Owen Jones branded Femi Oluwole a “cult leader” after he accused the Labour supporter and left-wing commentator of being “pro Leave”. The pair engaged in the furious spat on Twitter after Mr Jones posted his criticism over Labour’s reported plan to back back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal under Sir Keir Starmer.
Mr Oluwole quickly intervened accusing Mr Jones of writing a pro-Brexit piece for The Guardian newspaper despite the commentator being an arch-Remainer.
He posted: “Brexit was a movement that the right wing was in charge of.
“That’s why there aren’t any Guardian pieces supporting Brexit, other than one from Owen himself.
“The Tory(DUP) majorities in 2015/2017 meant unless Labour opposed Brexit, Labour would effectively be Right-wing!”
But Mr Jones sought to defend himself saying: “I pushed a relentlessly pro-Remain message during the referendum.
“A year before the referendum I wrote the left should debate Brexit and concluded it should fight against. Like millions of people I voted for Remain not as a fanatical EU supporter, who are a small minority.”
READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: Boris brings back ‘law-breaking’ legislation
“Oh for god’s sake. I just found out you changed the title afterward!
“And you try to blame ME for losing Labour heartlands. Jesus!”
This prompted an angry Mr Jones who accused Mr Oluwole of being “disastrous” during the 2016 referendum campaign for Remain and “alienating” Brexiteers.
He posted: “Anyone who knows anything about newspapers knows the columnist never writes the headline, the piece calls for the left to debate Brexit – and you’re underlining why you were so disastrous, because you constantly went after people who voted Remain despite being critical of the EU
“All you succeeded in doing is alienating Leavers, toxifying every compromise alternative to a hard Brexit, helping to leave Labour with no good options – and now, after denouncing Corbyn as a Brexiteer even when he backed a referendum, you’re backing hard Brexit.
But Mr Oluwole was not satisfied with this explanation and asked: “So that’s your claim?
“That this piece, which likens pro-Europeanism to Thatcherism, literally says more lefties need to take up the Lexit cause, and suggests a “populist” pro-Brexit campaign is the way to reconnect with the North,…..is NEUTRAL on Brexit? Come on, Owen.”
Keen to have the final word, Mr Jones tweeted his rival branding him a “cult leader” writing: “I didn’t say it was neutral on Brexit. I’m a eurosceptic who voted Remain despite my criticisms of the EU, and I encouraged others who were critical to vote for Remain too.
“The fact this makes me insufficient pure underlines that you weren’t a campaigner, you were a cult leader.”