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‘What voters will take most notice of first is the quality of our new leader’ - former Waveney Labour MP Bob Blizzard’s warning to his party

Conservative candidate Peter Aldous is the new MP for Waveney.
Labour candidate Bob Blizzard.

Conservative candidate Peter Aldous is the new MP for Waveney. Labour candidate Bob Blizzard.

Candidates for the Labour leadership are currently setting out their stall at hustings across the country, with some such as Liz Kendall saying the party did not have enough of an offer for aspirational voters. But in a recent article for Progress, former Labour Waveney MP Bob Blizzard asked: “Can anyone name the Tory policy on aspiration that destroyed us?

“What was the missing policy that would have given us victory?

“Let’s not fight each other in a false policy debate. It will probably be some years before it is sensible to set out our stall for whatever conditions the country might face in 2020.

“It is all very well to soul search about values and talk about the big picture, but increasingly sceptical and consumerist voters will ultimately want to know what we will actually do for them.”

Mr Blizzard said many of Labour’s policies resonated on the doorstep, such as raising the minimum wage to £8 per hour.

Although he admitted there was the “UKIP factor”, he said: “I believe it would’ve been far greater had we not concentrated on working class voters with policies that directly benefited them”.

Although Mr Blizzard said he found no-one who disagreed with Labour policies: “Many people did not really know what they were.”

He also said that when Labour was swept to power in 1997, it was “not the policies that created it” but: “It was the new man they liked.

“What the voters will take most notice of first is the quality of our new leader.

“Is he or she better, stronger, more appealing and genuine than George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Theresa May or David Cameron?

“That is the challenge whoever will be our next leader.”


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