Labour leadership candidates clash over Brexit at Guardian hustings

Brexit was a real problem for us. It was the straw that broke the
camel’s back. And the reason it was the problem
was because our response to it was so utterly tone deaf. We didn’t understand what people
were trying to tell us. We skipped straight to the legal and
technical parts of the question. We then went back to people and
we had members of our shadow cabinet saying, if you’d
voted to leave, you were either stupid, too stupid to understand the
question or you were a racist. – Who said that? And so there was a moment after the
election when Diane Abbott went out and said that this was about xenophobia
and racism, pure and simple. And I had that conversation with Diane
at the time because I was serving in the shadow cabinet. This is 52% of this country. But then we had other people … We had half the shadow cabinet over here
arguing for remain and saying they were picking a side and they were
picking remain. We had another half of the shadow cabinet
over there saying they were picking leave and they were arguing for leave. Between them, they managed to insult
the entirety of this country, where remainers were caricatured
as liberal elitists and leavers were caricatured as stupid racists. I know that we have the best intentions
to try and bring together those who voted leave and those
who voted remain. But unfortunately, we focused a lot
on what was happening within Westminster and didn’t convey
what we were trying to do to our communities. And that led to a lack of trust. It led many people in my constituency,
for example, to think that we were trying to overturn the result of
the referendum. And if you were strongly pro EU,
you felt that we weren’t taking a strong enough position and it took
so many other things down with it. So in that election, when we should
have been talking about jobs, aspiration, industry, what the future would look like,
we weren’t. We were talking about Brexit and
trying to justify our position, which was confusing anyway. I went to 44 constituencies
in the general election with different campaign teams across
the whole United Kingdom. And in particular in leave areas and
every team was talking about the same thing. What’s coming out of the door? One of the big issues – there was complete
uniformity across the country – it was, number one, the leadership,
fairly or unfairly, rightly or wrongly, anybody within that campaign knows
that was the number one thing that came up. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying
let’s be honest about it. The second thing was Brexit, of course. But that came up differently. If you’re campaigning in the Midlands,
it came up in a particular way. If you’re campaigning in Scotland,
it came up with a completely different way. But it did come up. I accept that
and I’ll come back to it, Anushka, because of that. The third thing that came up with,
this is not me, this is the team reporting to me, was the manifesto overload. Now, whether what was in the
manifesto was right or wrong, there was too much. There was a tipping point and it didn’t
matter whether it’s good or bad because people didn’t believe we
could deliver it. All of us and this is, myself included,
have to recognise that we have now left the EU and therefore
the leave remain argument is gone and we need to focus on the next challenge
and what Johnson does with the negotiations. But we won’t go to the next election
as a Brexit election. So be honest about the analysis of this one
but let’s look, let’s look at the 2024 situation in terms of how we.

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  1. Labour told everyone in the 2017 election that they would respect the referendum result.
    They then spent the next 3 years trying to wangle remain.
    That's why they lost…

  2. Labour leadership Manchester hustings: the best and the worst ►

  3. Labour weaponised Brexit….they were never interested in Brexit just obtaining Power….they weren't interested in Brexit in 2016 and still aren't…they should be 100% for control of immigration…but 100% against

  4. Broke the camels back ?!? looks like the 3 Labour camels are fine – though that is obviously defaming camels. Surely they forgot to talk about trans rights lol.

  5. It was quite simple. We voted leave and you arrogant bunch decided to ignore it! And now you are suffering the consequence

  6. How can Keir say the feed back was right or wrong re the leadership. The feed back was correct in every seat, your leader is not PM material. Again dismissing the truth and patronising the people. I think they are still in an echo chamber in the deep recess of their minds.

  7. Labour's was left with bad reputation by Mr Blair's government it has still not recovered since then and someone came along and threw in the spanner in the works called antisemitism and radio LBC were making sure Labour did not in and the rest is history. All these candidates look promising and we need a very alert opposition who will address injustices in the present legal system, Keir did nothing when he was prosecutor and banks were stealing. Mr Blair changed our tried and tested legal system, we need to go back to our traditional systems and bring back the counter face to face service for benefit of public who are entitled to equality of arms, so are any of these candidates brave enough to challenge a system that is so broken? I am not a Bresiter or Labour voter.

  8. Don't believe anything they say…at best they will demand we are regulatory aligned and unable to make independent trade deals or at worst they'll take us back in..

  9. Nobody cares. Labour are done. The Tories were done until semi-celebrity clown Johnson got to be leader.
    Labour doesn't have a Johnson. Literally.
    P.S, I didn't even watch the video.

  10. Got that right . I've voted labour all my life, am a trade union member and i am not xenophobic. But i voted brexit for many reasons….Corbyn stopped me voting.

  11. Momentum chose these three for us to reject tssst. This party is done for. They have allowed the wokes on university campus to take over for £3 subs.

  12. Prior to the referendum I was a floating voter. I used my vote tactically to try and keep whoever wanted to intrude on our lives the most, out of power.

    Having seen how the political parties have handled the result of that referendum, I will never vote lib Dem or Green and I will never vote for a labour party who protects the corbyn types and momentum.

    That leaves me with the Tories.

    Thanks wankas, great job

  13. Left wing ideology is responsible for the pandemic, no one wants it, the country has completely rejected it, you are all irrelevant.

  14. Everyone of these went door knocking on the manifesto, they're now dismissing!Labour will not get in again for years, especially if any of these muppets become leader…

  15. This is a pointless exercise. The Labour party are never going to vote for a woman. Furthermore whomever they choose will never be elected by people outside of London and university towns.

  16. Labour need a woman of colour to lead the party out of the very sexist patriarchal nightmare the Tories have led us into.

  17. still the biggest joke and still the same conversation, the only difference is not HARD BREXIT or DIE IN A DITCH, it's complaining about it!!! And it will go on and on.

  18. Labour is no longer the political party the REAL labour voters recognises anymore, and this current trio of wannabes labour leaders inspires nobody.

  19. We always get these "we've reflected and we've changed" white washes from Labour leaders. As if they'd ever genuinely accept responsibility for what they've done to society. Red for the devil, red for danger, red for Labour.

  20. Keir Starmer … It didn't help your cause telling people you want to remain when the vote was is leave, then swanning off over to Brussels to talk remaining against The Government in charge. The only people that truly support Labour are Midwives.

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