Owen Jones skewers Labour as he urges Starmer to learn ‘what went right’ for Corbyn

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Owen Jones skewers Labour as he urges Starmer to learn ‘what went right’ for Corbyn

Owen Jones has criticised the Labour Party for abandoning its socialist roots and demanded the party sets out clear aims and beliefs to win back th

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Owen Jones has criticised the Labour Party for abandoning its socialist roots and demanded the party sets out clear aims and beliefs to win back the electorate. He explained the appointment of Sir Keir Starmer aimed to position Labour as a “sensible” and less extreme option following Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous 2019 election result. But Mr Jones demanded Sir Keir looked at Mr Corbyn’s successes and mimic them stating the party and the country were “in a time of crisis.”

Speaking to LBC host James O’Brien on his Full Disclosure podcast, Mr Jones began by discussing his early years supporting Labour and the personal links he has with the party.

The conversation moved on to where the party is at today with Mr Jones criticising what it has now become. 

He told the podcast: “This is a time of crisis when you do need to come up with answers.

“The Tories are not the Osborne/Camerons they’re big-spending Tories and they have a vision and a project.

“You’ve got to have a clear vision of the country you wish to serve and I do think we can look back at the Corbyn period and accept what went wrong which is important to do.

“But also to look at what did go right and I do think in 2017, not enough to win, but the fact that that was the first time Labour won seats since 1997, the fact that was the biggest increase in vote share since 1945.

“The fact that was the biggest vote share since 2001, if Jeremy Corbyn was seen as a legitimate Labour leader – which by and large he isn’t – if he was there would be no debate about people saying you should learn from that.”

Many have attacked Labour for not providing a distinct voice or position for voters to get behind with Deputy Leader Angela Rayner admitting voters in the Hartlepool by-election did not know what they were voting for. 

The Labour Party lost the Hartlepool by-election with the Tories securing 51 percent of the vote in what is typically a Labour stronghold. 

Mr Jones said there was clearly something going wrong as nothing was being learnt from past successes. 

He continued: “[We need to] also learn what wasn’t enough to win but we’re not having that debate and I just found that odd and I think the idea of redistributing wealth and power from the top, for the many not the few.

“Public ownership, scrap tuition fees, ask those at the top to pay more money in order to invest in the economy.

“We had Labour unable to not back Rishi Sunak increasing corporation tax and I just looked at that and thought how on earth has the Labour Party got to a position where it is to the right of the Conservatives on economic policy.”

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Labour MPs were split on the raising of corporation tax during the March budget with many frontbenchers believing it was not the time to raise it. 

But backbenchers and Labour supporters questioned why the party was opposing a typically left-wing economy policy with former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell stating Chancellor Rishi Sunak “stole” his words.

The Labout Party has also undergone a reshuffle which saw Ms Rayner sacked as Party Chair after she was blamed for Hartlepool’s failures. 

Rachel Reeve has been promoted to Shadow Chancellor with Anneliese Dodds taking up Ms Rayner’s old position of Party Chair. 



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