Ian Lavery, who is considering running to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, has rebutted claims the party’s ambitious manifesto was to blame for last month’s electoral defeat. The party chairman, who was Labour’s election campaign co-ordinator, was quick to defend Labour’s policies and instead said Labour lost because of its position on Brexit. He also heaped blame on infighting, a collapse of industry in Labour communities and a lack of trust in the party.
Writing in the Daily Mirror, the frontbencher said Labour had to earn the right to continue as a political force, and warned that “we don’t have the divine right to exist as a party”.
When reflecting on the party’s worst electoral defeat in over half a century he said Labour’s policies were not to blame.
He wrote: “It seems ridiculous having to point out it was not our policies that led to defeat.
“For some, that would be a neat conclusion allowing them to return to a bland centrism of 2015. But it isn’t true.”
Ian Lavery has said Labour's policies were not to blame for its electoral defeat (Image: Daily Mirror/Getty)
Jeremy Corbyn will not be replaced as Labour leader until March (Image: Getty)
He added: “Labour lost because of our Brexit position, infighting, a collapse of industry in our communities and a lack of trust in our ability to deliver.
“Talk of a second referendum was seen by many as a way to foist Remain upon them.
“Communities represented by Labour for generations felt abandoned.
“It is time to outline a positive vision of the future outside of the EU.”
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Ian Lavery has blamed the electoral defeat on Brexit (Image: Stoke Sentinel)