Ex-Labour MP exposes party’s key issue ‘Deeper than Brexit and Corbyn’s time as leader’

Labour: Caroline Flint on 'bitter' 2019 election defeat

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Ex-Labour Party MP Caroline Flint admitted that the Labour Party has not dealt with struggles connecting with the electorate over the last few years. She reflected on the 2019 election and highlighted that the leader Jeremy Corbyn was putting off voters as well as the parties’ stance on Brexit. However, she noted the Labour Party was finding it difficult to appeal to some of its votes core of the city-based professionals and working-class voters across the country.

Ms Flint said: “There is no doubt that the last general election delivered a very bitter defeat for Labour.

“It was the worst result since nearly 1935, or something like that, a terrible defeat.

“What was very important about it, is the fact that we lost in seats like mine Don Valley, 24 red-wall seats.

“I call red-wall the ones that have never been anything other than Labour but a whole number of others in Darlington, in the northwest and the Midlands lost to the Tories.

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“It wasn’t that this was something the Labour Party shouldn’t have foreseen.

“At that particular moment, it was a combination of our position on Brexit which had become more to remain and have a second referendum.

“But it was also Jeremy Corbyn as well.

“We heard the concerns in my seat about Jeremy Corbyn in 2017 but we didn’t have to fight on the flank of Brexit because at that time we were saying we would honour the result.

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Ms Flint went on to highlight other problems the Labour Party was having in regards to connecting with voters.

She said: “I think it was deeper than all that, that just created a catalyst.

“I think it is something about the Labour Party and how it finds a space, and it has always had to do this, between the more middle class higher educated professionals members of the Labour Party very much dominated in our cities.

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“A younger group of people, again graduates in our cities and the more traditional areas of our country.

“Not just in Don Valley but also in those Tory seats that we used to win.

“We used to win those seats in 1997 and gradually we have lost them.

“That is where there is a more traditional working-class people.”

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