Ipswich Labour council leader: ‘Weak, out of touch’ Corbyn was the reason we lost
- Credit: PA
In his latest column, Ipswich Borough Council leader DAVID ELLESMERE says his party must change in the wake of its general election defeat - saying Labour cannot win while Jeremy Corbyn is leader.
There is no doubt that the general election of 2019 was a very bad result for Labour.
Across the country seats that have elected Labour MPs for generations went to the Tories. In Ipswich Sandy Martin was widely recognised as a good, hard-working local MP. It wasn't enough to save him.
Much will be written over the coming months about why Labour lost, often by people with an agenda to push or who weren't involved in the campaign beyond posting messages on social media
For those of us who spent six long, cold, wet miserable weeks knocking on doors and speaking to hundreds of Ipswich residents, there is no doubt. The reason people didn't vote Labour was Jeremy Corbyn.
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I lost count of the number of people who told me that they have always voted Labour but can't any more while Corbyn is leader.
He is seen as weak, untrustworthy, out of touch and unpatriotic. Whatever else people are concerned about in Britain today they could not risk having him as prime minister.
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Jeremy Corbyn does enthuse many people. Under him, Labour has seen a large increase in members. More people campaigned for Labour than the Tories in this election, inspired by hope for a better Britain.
But the fact that thousands of Labour Party members think Jeremy Corbyn is great cannot counter the fact that he repels millions of people who are not members. And in a democracy that is all that matters.
The Labour Party's sole reason for existence is to win elections so it can take power and implement policies which benefit the people of our country.
To win elections it is not enough just to have popular policies. If people don't trust us to carry them out, they won't vote for us.
As the public face of the Party it is the job of the Leader to inspire that trust and confidence, something Jeremy Corbyn failed to do.
Labour Party members must learn from this when we elect our next leader.
Our aim must not be to choose someone who makes us feel good about ourselves. It is to elect someone who makes the people of Britain feel good about the Labour Party.