Labour civil war: Sadiq Khan slams Corbyn for election defeat – ‘We got pasted!’

Mr Khan called for people to be thrown out of the party for antisemitism even if they take the party to court.
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Express.co.uk

Labour’s vote share decreased by 7.9 percentage points from 2017 whilst their number of seats reduced from 262 to 202. Mr Corbyn lost 8.7 percentage points himself in Islington North but his majority was still substantial with more than 26,000 votes over his closest challenger. Speaking to The Times, Mr Khan said: “Hand on heart, did we deserve to win the general election?”

“Probably not, so the British public got it right.”

Mr Corbyn claimed Labour “won” the argument but Mr Khan admitted: “We lost the argument.”

Mr Khan did not give any indication to whom he would back as Labour leader, saying he would wait until later in the campaign.

Shadow sustainable economics minister Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry have declared their candidacy.

 

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Mr Khan added: “The candidates need to persuade us members that they have the best analysis of why we lost, and to set out the path to victory.”

Mr Khan nominated Mr Corbyn in the 2015 leadership election.

The Mayor also rejected the suggestion the next leader had to be female stating: “You shouldn’t be excluded because you’re a man, but I do find it disappointing that the Labour Party hasn’t had a woman leader.”

Labour has not had a female leader unlike the Tories and Liberal Democrats, though Margaret Beckett acted as acting leader following the death of John Smith in 1994 and Harriet Harman was acting leader twice in 2010 and 2015 following the resignations of Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband respectively.

Mr Khan called for change at the top of the leadership structure commenting: “What Jeremy and those around him should have the humility to recognise is [they] let Corbyn be Corbyn, and we got pasted.

“It’s not just about changing the lead singer, it’s the whole band.

“The music was wrong.”

The Mayor gave his own analysis of why Labour lost stating: “I probably knocked on more doors than any candidate, and people didn’t have confidence in the party and our values.

“They thought we were making promises just to win votes. And they thought we were a racist party because of our failure to tackle antisemitism.”

Mr Khan said he had Jewish friends who did not vote Labour because of concerns over antisemitism and felt the lack of a “clear plan to address” ought to be “a disqualification to be Labour leader.”

 

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Mr Khan called for people to be thrown out of the party for antisemitism even if they take the party to court.

He said: “The ease with which Alastair Campbell was chucked out for talking about voting for another party, and yet you have anti-semites still in, beggars belief.”

Mr Campbell, the Downing Street Director of Communications in the Blair government, voted for the Liberal Democrats in the 2019 European elections, though initially stating he would appeal, he later wrote a letter to Mr Corbyn stating he no longer wished to be a Labour member.

Discussing the Tories, Mr Khan said “sure, the Tories may be Islamophobic, that doesn’t concern me. The standards I expect from Labour are higher”.

He also expressed fears of Boris Johnson not being able to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU by the end of the year and said he saw Brexit as an opportunity for greater devolution to regions including the capital.

Mr Khan seeks more powers over education, business rates and house-building.

The London mayoral elections will be in May and the incumbent has a 27 point leader over Tory Shaun Bailey according to YouGov.

Mr Khan warned it was important to not get complacent: “Elections can be habit-forming: you can be habitual winners or habitual losers.”

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Labour civil war: Sadiq Khan slams Corbyn for election defeat - 'We got pasted!'

Labour's vote share decreased by 7.9 percentage points from 2017 whilst their number of seats reduced from 262 to 202. Mr Corbyn lost 8.7 percentage points himself in Islington North but his majority was still substantial with more than 26,000 votes over his closest challenger.

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