CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Labour could recover but only if we have a clear change of heart

06 June, 2019

• I WAS sorry to read what Sarah Friday had to say, (Labour needs a vision for life outside the EU, Letters, May 30), since readers might get the impression that she spoke on behalf of Holborn & St Pancras Labour Party. She does not.

In fact, as the New Journal correctly reported, our general committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of Labour backing an unequivocal policy calling for a people’s vote, and for our party to campaign for remain.

What is absolutely clear is that the majority of Labour members and Labour supporters – across the country – back this position.

The public are not stupid and know that any deal that requires us to break our links with the EU would leave us seriously worse off than we are now.

If one adds all the votes cast in the European election it is clear that (despite the false claims of Nigel Farage) that most people supported parties that backed remain.

It was because Labour vacillated so woefully, with Jeremy Corbyn attempting to sit uncomfortably on the fence on the issue, that our supporters deserted us in droves. Voters rightly demand clarity and fudge will not work. People want “straight talking, honest politics”.

What is so worrying (from a Labour point of view) is that voters may be abandoning the party for good. The latest YouGov poll shows that fewer than half the people who voted Labour at the 2017 election now back the party.

Some 43 per cent of 2017 Labour voters now back parties that clearly support a people’s vote, the Liberal Democrats, Greens, Change UK, SNP, Plaid Cymru.

Even card-carrying Labour Party members abandoned the party. Around 41 per cent took the same path as Alastair Campbell and voted for other parties in the European elections.

Labour is failing at the polls. We lost the 2017 general election. In the local elections we lost 400 councillors and now we have lost the European elections – coming (unbelievably) fifth in Scotland and third in Wales.

Corbyn’s advisers, who have performed so badly, must pay the price. Labour could recover, but only if we have a clear change of heart. Doing nothing will be catastrophic for our party and risks Labour declining into a minor, far-left, sect with little hope of winning an election.

Labour in Holborn & St Pancras is working hard to reassure our supporters but, as anyone who has been out canvassing knows, it has been an uphill task. The party nationally must be reformed if we are to win again.

MARTIN PLAUT
Ryland Road, NW5

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