A POLITICIAN has said the Lib Dems have “betrayed” the Remain cause after they refused to back his motion for a second Brexit referendum.

Peter Kyle, who represented Hove and Portslade until Tuesday and is standing to retain his seat, said he “had the numbers” to call for another public vote on Brexit.

But he told The Argus the Lib Dems had “put party ahead of our country” by backing a General Election instead.

“We’re having this election because the Lib Dems opened the door to it,” the Labour parliamentary candidate for Hove said.

“On the Saturday when we voted on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, I moved the motion for a second referendum. Boris Johnson himself withdrew it because he knew we would win.

“We then tabled an amendment on his Brexit deal for a people’s vote.

“But the Lib Dems chose to vote for an election instead.

“It pulled the rug from under the Remain cause. We feel betrayed.”

Mr Kyle said he felt “hurt, angry, and raw” and worried support for a second referendum would “lose heart”.

“Phil Wilson and I had been shoring up numbers ever since March, when we were 12 votes off a second referendum,” he said.

“We even had the support of some Leave MPs like Antoinette Sandbach.

“We had the names in our pockets. All the Lib Dems had to do was ask.

“So many of us have stuck our necks against party policy but it has come to nothing.”

The Labour candidate also attacked Lib Dem’s Brexit policy.

“First they wanted a second referendum, then to revoke Article 50, then a General Election, and now a second referendum,” he said.

“That’s the most contradictory set of policies.”

But Beatrice Bass, Lib Dem candidate for Hove, called Mr Kyle’s comments “desperate election spin”.

“Calling the Lib Dems, who are the strongest, biggest, and most consistent Remain party, betrayers of the Remain cause couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said.

“Such divisive language does not help in an already divided aggressive political climate.

“Such an unfounded attack on the Lib Dems is nothing but desperate election spin, but I take it as a compliment that he is that scared of me.

“I and the Lib Dems must be doing something right.”

Ms Bass said Mr Kyle’s comments were not in line with Labour’s Brexit stance.

“Kyle’s comments further contradict Labour policy as we know very well that Labour is not interested in holding a referendum on the current deal,” she said.

“The one thing that they are clear about is that they want to negotiate their own deal.

“They also repeatedly refuse to back Remain, in contrast to Lib Dems who are crystal clear that we want to stop Brexit.”

Five candidates are set to contest the Hove seat on December 12.

Alongside Mr Kyle and Ms Bass, candidates from the Conservatives, Greens, and Brexit Party are running.