Sunday, 5 March 2017

Passing the Buck

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Former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw makes a number of very telling points in this interview with The Independent on Sunday.
  1. That Jeremy Corbyn's leadership was the biggest single issue in the recent Copeland by-election
  2. That at this stage in the electoral cycle Labour ought to be 20 points ahead of the Tories
  3. That forcing Labour MPs to vote in favour of Brexit was a catastrophic political error
Read the full piece via the link below to The Independent, but Bradshaw's just being brutally honest if you ask me.

Former Labour cabinet minister insists Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for Copeland by-election loss

Ben Bradshaw describes Corbyn's leadership of the party as 'the one issue on the doorstep'

By James Beeson - The Independent
Ben Bradshaw said Labour ought to be 20 points ahead of an ‘evidently beatable’ Tory party PA

Jeremy Corbyn was “the one issue on the doorstep” in Labour’s defeat in the Copeland by-election last week and anyone who suggests otherwise is “lying”, according to Labour MP Ben Bradshaw.

Speaking to The Independent, the former cabinet minister placed the blame for the historic loss – the first time an opposition party had lost a by-election to a sitting Government in more than 30 years – at the door of the Labour Party's leader, claiming that no Labour seat was safe in the 2020 general election.

“Our candidate [Gillian Troughton] has done a fantastic job of making sure the voters knew that she was very pro-nuclear power,” he said. “There’s no point kidding ourselves. Talk to anyone who campaigned in that election the only issue was Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Bradshaw’s comments come after Labour frontbenchers, including Shami Chakrabarti, suggested that bad weather and poor public transport had contributed to the loss. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell argued that high-profile interventions by former Labour figures Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson were in part to blame.

“It was a terrible result for Labour,” said Mr Bradshaw. “You have to go back to 1960 until there was another loss of an by election seat from an opposition party to a party of Government without any kind of extenuating circumstances. It was an absolutely catastrophic defeat for us."

“Based on the opinion polls and the real results not just in Copeland and Stoke but in local and council by-elections all over the country, no Labour seat is safe. Not a single one.”