/Labour one mistake away from oblivion warns former MP after Corbyn wipeout

Labour one mistake away from oblivion warns former MP after Corbyn wipeout

The suffered severe losses in the general election last week as they lost 60 seats, including historic constituencies in the northern heartlands. Phil Wilson, who succeeded Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair in representing Sedgefield in 2007, was among the MPs whose seat turned blue as Boris Johnson snatched an 80-strong majority in the Commons. announced he would step down over the coming months but Mr Wilson warned the party could face “oblivion” if the wrong successor is picked. 

Speaking to LBC, the former Labour MP said: “I think the Labour Party is one more mistake away from oblivion, really.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re selecting the right leader.

“If we continue along the line of another leader who, you know, just perpetuates Corbynism or that kind of far-left kind of politics, I think what will happen is that maybe more people will turn away and those people who have already turned away, won’t come back.”

He continued: “I know we talk about policies and empathy with the electorate – none of that’s important.

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Labour’s former MP Phil Wilson warned the party risks “oblivion” if they pick the wrong leader (Image: BBC•PARLIAMENT TV)

Labour Party Phil Wilson leadership challenge Jeremy Corbyn election latest news

Phil Wilson insisted a new Corbyn-style leader would not work for the Labour Party (Image: BBC)

“The one thing, the one aspect of the Labour Party, in fact of any political party that wants to be in government, people take the most notice of is the leader. It does come back down to the leader.”

Mr Wilson expressed his frustration at Mr Corbyn for not stepping down immediately, insisting the party could have been handed to the likes of Margaret Hodge to act as an “interim leader” to facilitate the leadership challenge.

He also told the outgoing Labour leader he showed a “lack of professionalism” when he failed to apologise for the losses the party suffered, saying the move “just points to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn, at the end of the day, wasn’t really a leader.”

Mr Corbyn has been criticised for how the December general election campaign was run and for not getting in contact with MPs who lost their seats.

Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn latest leadership challenge general election news

Jeremy Corbyn announced he would step down after Labour lost 60 seats at the election (Image: PARLIAMENT TV)

The Labour leader has repeatedly blamed the defeat on Brexit.

While Mr Corbyn has yet to clarify the timeline of his departure, and Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. 

Ms Thornberry blasted the Labour leader for bowing to pressure to agree to a general election in the run-up to Christmas, insisting he should have instead focused his energies on securing a referendum on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Announcing her decision to throw her hat in the ring, the 59-year-old used her record as Mr Johnson’s opponent, when he served as foreign secretary, as a means to whip up support for her bid.


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Emily Thornberry announced she would run in the leadership challenge as she hit out at Corbyn for remaining neutral on Brexit (Image: ITV NEWS LONDON)

Labour Party manifesto 2019 Jeremy Corbyn election nationalisation

The Labour Party ran on a manifesto of nationalisation and higher tax for the highest earners (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

Writing in The Guardian on Wednesday, MsThornberry said: “I wrote to the leader’s office warning it would be ‘an act of catastrophic political folly’ to vote for the election, and explained exactly why we should not go along with it.

“I argued that the single issue of Brexit should not be enough to give Johnson a five-year mandate to enact his agenda on every issue.

“Instead, I said we should insist on a referendum on his proposed deal, to get the issue of Brexit out of the way before any general election.”

Sir Keir Starmer, Yvette Cooper and Lisa Nandy have also said that they are considering the position of Labour leader.

Betmakers William Hill have slashed Sir Keir Starmer’s odds of becoming the next Labour Party leader from 7/1 into 13/8 but warned he could face unexpected competition from Yvette Cooper, whose odds have been cut from 33/1 into 16/1.

Spokesman Rupert Adams said: “Keir Starmer was our original favourite and is once again the man to beat.

“That said, Yvette Cooper could be a genuine contender and she has been well supported on Wednesday.”

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