Jeremy Corbyn was forced to shut down a pro-Brexit voter as the heckler attempted to verbally ambush the Labour leader at his first major speech of the EU referendum campaign. Corbyn calmly told cameraman Stephen Wolstenholme "this is the kinder politics" as the Eurosceptic twice shouted at the left-winger from the back of the Senate House meeting room during a Q&A session.

A spokesman for the Labour leader warned Wolstenholme that he could have difficulty acquiring media accreditation in the future. But the video maker, who backed the Conservatives at the general election in a bid to secure a referendum on the EU, was able to film inside the Labour In For Britain event by signing an online form on the Eventbrite website.

"A future Labour government should have the powers to pass its own laws and not be dictated to by another country," he told IBTimes UK and other journalists after the incident.

"I've voted Labour and Tory. I voted Conservative at the last election to get a referendum and I think the main issue is sovereignty and you never heard that once from the leader of the Labour Party."

Stephen Wolstenholme
Stephen Wolstenholme talks to the mediaIBTimes UK

Wolstenholme also claimed that the free movement of labour from the EU had undercut the wages of British workers. "How can you protect wages when you allow an inexhaustible supply of cheap labour? [Corbyn] would never answer."

The comments came after the Labour leader outlined his "warts and all" left-winger case for backing a 'remain' vote at the 23 June ballot. Corbyn, who voted to split from the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1975, admitted he had been an outspoken critic of Brussels in the past.

A pro-remain, pro-reform pitch

But the Labour leader stressed he wanted the UK to stay inside the 28-nation-bloc to reform the EU and its institutions. "The Labour Party is overwhelmingly for staying in because we believe the EU has brought investment, jobs and protections for workers, consumers and the environment," he argued.

"Labour is convinced that a vote to remain in is in the best interests of the people of this country. In the coming century, we face absolutely huge challenges as a people, as a continent and as global community.

"How to deal with climate change, how to address the overweening power of global corporations and ensure they pay fair taxes... all of these issues are serious and pressing, and self-evidently require international cooperation. Collective international action through the EU is clearly going to help meeting these vital challenges."

However, the Labour leader jumped from topic to topic throughout the address. Even the junior doctors' strikes – a contract dispute between the government, NHS England and medics – was mentioned by Corbyn.

The left-winger also branded 'leave' campaigners as "free market enthusiasts", which could come as news to Labour MPs Kate Hoey, Frank Field and Gisela Stuart as well as the trade unions backing a Brexit, such as the RMT. In short, Corbyn's pitch to Labour voters was pro-remain, but pro-reform.

DatePollsterRemainLeaveUndecidedMethod
8-10 AprICM42%45%12%Online
6-7 AprYouGov40%38%16%Online
29 Mar-4 AprYouGov39%38%18%Online
1 Apr–3 AprICM44%43%13%Online
29 Mar–3 AprOBR51%44%5%Telephone
29 Mar - 1 AprOpinium39%42%18%Online
24-29 MarTNS35%35%30%Online
24-29 MarBMG Research41%45%14%Online
24-29 MarBMG Research41%45%14%Online