Labour’s executive team has sought to blame Brexit and “four years of unrelenting attacks” on Jeremy Corbyn for the party’s worst performance in 80 years, a leaked document reveals.
A report written by election co-ordinators Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery and circulated at a meeting of the National Executive Committee, said it would be “unrealistic” not to blame the result on Brexit, which “almost entirely dominated the political life of the country between June 2017 and December 2019”.
Although the authors acknowledged that Labour’s Brexit policy “played a decisive role in the election”, they stuck by the decision to remain neutral, highlighting the split between pro-Remain members and pro-Leave voters, particularly in the north.
The document also criticises the number of manifesto policies, which it says left voters confused as to the party’s policies.
Instead the party lost out to the “endlessly repeated clarity of the Tories’ minimalist campaign, centring solely on a misleading promise to “Get Brexit Done”,” they argue.
The “venomous” media also played a role, the document claims, noting that while the attacks were equivalent to those experienced in 2017, the build up since the previous election amounted to “an assault without precedent in modern politics”.
“It is unlikely that radicalism itself was the problem in a country looking for change,” the document argues.
However this is at odds with what several MPs, both Labour and Conservative, have told City A.M. was the cause for the collapse of the so-called Red Wall in the Midlands and the North of England.
While Brexit was a critical factor, Corbyn was widely seen as “toxic on the doorstep”, multiple backbenchers said.
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