Labour: Bridget Phillipson grilled by Ridge over 'boring' image
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Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson was grilled over whether the party has become “boring” under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer. The opposition MP was put under pressure to respond to criticism that Labour needs to differentiate themselves more from the Government and to take more “risks” in order to win back lost voters. It comes after one Northern Tory MP predicted more “red wall” seats could turn blue with “real opportunities” for his party in winning more votes across the UK.
Ms Phillipson began with a defence of her party leader’s record since taking office.
She told Sky’s Sophie Ridge: “Little of a year ago we suffered one of the worst general election defeats in our history.
“So we always knew it was going to take a long time to regain the trust of the British people once more.
“But I think we have made tremendous progress over the course of that time under Keir Starmer’s new leadership.
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“If you had said to me in December 2019 that we would have made the progress we have made already I would have taken off your right arm to have been making such fantastic progress.
“But of course after such a terrible defeat it will take time to regain the trust of the British people once more.
“But I think there is at the same time an expectation from the British people that we are constructive in the opposition that we put to the government.
“This is a crisis like no other,” she added.
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Host Sophie Ridge sought to address criticism of Keir Starmer coming from the left of the Labour Party.
She asked the Shadow Minister: “Those on the left would like you to take a few more risks,
“To call for things that aren’t just going to happen anyway.
“Is the problem that Labour at the minute is just a bit boring?”
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“Well no we are years out from an election” blasted back Ms Phillipson.
“Of course we will set out very detailed policy that raises to the challenge that Britain faces at that point.
“But we are in the middle of a pandemic after all and we absolutely have to be focused on getting the country through this crisis.
“But we have made tremendous progress as a party but when I think back to that terrible election defeat in December 2019 the first priority for us as a party had to be earning the right to be heard once more by the British people.”
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