Jeremy Corbyn's support for a 'remain' vote at the EU referendum weakens the left-wing case for a breakaway from Brussels, George Galloway has admitted.
The Eurosceptic, in the second part of his video interview with IBTimes UK, claimed the Labour leader had been "bounced" into the pro-EU position in order to stop shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn from resigning.
"It was a mistake for Corbyn to abandon, so quickly and so easily, his Eurosceptic position," Galloway argued. "He was bounced into it by Benn and not for the first or last time, and very quickly after he became leader."
The Mayor of London candidate added: "It was part of the price that Jeremy agreed to pay for Benn to remain as shadow foreign secretary. And both he and the rest of us have had plenty of time to regret that [Benn] did remain in that position.
"But it is a pity – it weakens the 'Lexit' case. [Ukip leader Nigel] Farage is for Brexit, I'm for Lexit – it's a left exit argument and campaign. And the fact Labour is not officially in it is a pity. But I feel fairly confident that most Labour party members will vote to leave the EU."
Corbyn, who voted 'no' in the 1975 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU), is expected to make a pro-workers' rights case for staying inside the 28-nation-bloc during the referendum campaign.
Frances O'Grady, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, has also backed a 'remain' vote alongside the GMB Union.
But rail unions the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, and the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers will back a 'leave' vote.
Galloway recently praised Farage for pressuring David Cameron into committing to a referendum on the EU in the Conservatives' general election manifesto, and the Scottish politician told IBTimes UK that he had some admiration for the Eurosceptic firebrand.
"I do have some admiration for Farage in the sense that he means what he says and he says what he means," Galloway explained. "As it happens, I disagree with most of what he says, most of what he means. But I have to admire a political figure in these desiccated, calculating machine days."
However, it seems the British public take a contrary position to the well-known politicians when it comes to the EU referendum. The latest opinion poll from Ipsos MORI, of almost 500 people between 13 and 16 February, put 'remain' on 56% and 'leave' on 36%, with 10% of respondents undecided.