leadership contest

Stop the McDonnell amendment

My New Year’s resolution is to stop the hard-left lowering the threshold to stand for Labour leader from 15 to five per cent

First published on ProgressOnline | Featured in the Guardian

2016 was obviously a total disaster for those who want to see a Labour government in the not too distant future. Disappointing local election results, coming third in Scotland, losing the European Union referendum and the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn followed by near silence. Since 24 September 2016 there has been little done to unite the party, nothing done to flesh out of policy ideas, campaign days on grammar schools and the NHS were so poor few voters noticed and the Labour leader appears at prime minister’s question time and that’s about it. Labour finishes the year with a 25 per cent standing in the polls – some 17 points behind an unelected Tory leader that is bereft of ideas and vision. Only 18 per cent of the public like our economy team and just 17 per cent our leader. The Corbyn project has clearly failed and many who voted for him, even the second time, are rapidly coming to the same conclusion. (more…)

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Time to talk about losing

First published on LabourList

In November I wrote an editorial for Progress magazine headlined We need to talk about… losing’. At the time the Labour Party was telling itself that the fact that 450,000 people voted in a Labour leadership election in September 2015 changed the fact 11.3 million people had voted Tory in May earlier the same year. If the present situation of a prime minister versus a mayor of London heading the opposing sides in the EU referendum serves one purpose, it is to remind us how far from power we are.

Since that editorial we have had the Beckett Report, which failed to ask, let alone answer, key questions about why we fell two million votes short. The former Foreign Secretary’s duty should have been to put on record why Labour lost and sketch out a route back to power regardless of how unpopular that was with the current leader’s office. When the party decides it wants to win again the blueprint for doing so should have been found in the pages of her report. Instead that work will need doing afresh. (more…)

‘Je ne regrette rien’

First published on Progressonline

We should not stop apologising to the voters who really wanted us to win, Mary Creagh tells Richard Angell and Adam Harrison

It is less than 48 hours since the deadline for nominations to be leader of the Labour party closed. Just a week ago Mary Creagh had hoped to have secured a place on the ballot by this point. But the shadow international development secretary pulled out of the contest last weekend, firing off a parting shot at the last leadership’s abysmal relationship with business as she went.

How is Creagh feeling now, in the wake of what must have been one of the most demanding episodes in her political life? ‘Je ne regrette rien’, she says, citing the ‘messages of support’ she has received despite stepping out of the race, and the stories party members and more communicated to her in response to her call to create ‘a Britain where everybody can get on’. (more…)