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Ex-Labour MPs attack party leadership and say ‘fundamental change’ is needed | Politics News

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Defeated Labour MPs and candidates say “fundamental change” is needed at the top of the party if it wants to win an election.

They accused the Labour leadership of “cronyism” and an “unwillingness to stand up to the stain of antisemitism” in a letter seen by The Observer.

Among the signatories were Anna Turley, who lost her Redcar seat, Mary Creagh, who lost in Wakefield, Emma Reynolds, who was unseated in Wolverhampton North East, and Phil Wilson, who lost his Sedgefield seat.

The letter comes as the independent Labour Together group leads a review into the party’s performance following its “catastrophic” election defeat, in which it was left with its lowest number of seats since 1935.

Some fear the review, which includes former Labour leader Ed Miliband, will not give an accurate assessment of the party’s failings.

In the letter, the group said Labour needs to go “way beyond a simple review”.

“The scale of this defeat means we have to look unflinchingly at what went wrong, way beyond a simple review, welcome as that might be,” they wrote.

“We need to be honest about why our outgoing leadership’s reflexive anti-western worldview was so unpopular, and address the reasons for that unpopularity.

“We were rejected on doorsteps not just because of our woolly, changing position on Brexit, or in Scotland, because of our weak commitment to the union, but because the very people we were supposed to be fighting for did not think the policies in our manifesto related to their lives.”



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In its manifesto, the Labour Party had promised to scrap tuition fees, renationalise rail companies and raise taxes for higher income workers.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn had said his government would offer “real change”.

But the defeated MPs wrote: “The focus on nationalisation and uncontrolled spending commitments meant people simply didn’t believe us.”

It is still unclear when the race to become the next Labour leader will begin in 2020.

Mr Corbyn announced he would step down following the election defeat, but said he would continue to lead the party during a “period of reflection”.

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The former MPs wrote in their letter: “The challenge for the eventual leader is immense.

“We need to win 150 seats in every corner of the country, gaining votes from a coalition of communities.

“Labour needs to be in government – and for that, fundamental change at the top of our party is required.

“Only this will help us recover from the catastrophic loss.”

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