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Blair tells UK Labour: Overturn Corbyn's 'quasi-revolutionary socialism'

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks at the Hallam Conference Centre in London, Britain December 18, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday urged moderates in the opposition Labour Party to grab back control from outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn whom he said personified a brand of “quasi-revolutionary socialism” that had failed.

“The takeover of the Labour Party by the far left turned it into a glorified protest movement with cult trimmings, utterly incapable of being a credible government,” Blair said. “The result has brought shame on us.”

Blair said Corbyn’s complicated and equivocal stance on Brexit had displeased both opponents and advocates of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

“We pursued a path of almost comic indecision, alienated both sides of the debate leaving our voters without guidance or leadership,” Blair said.

“The absence of leadership on what was obviously the biggest question facing the country then reinforced all the other doubts about Jeremy Corbyn.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Joanna Taylor and Sarah Young, writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Estelle Shirbon