And they highlighted a failure to root out antisemitism, and “cronyism at the top of the party”, as contributory factors to the disastrous result. In a letter to The Observer, the 11-strong group – which includes Mary Creagh, who launched an angry verbal tirade against Mr Corbyn after the December 12 poll – calls for an “unflinching” review into exactly what led to the party’s worst election defeat in 84 years as Boris Johnson sealed an 80-seat majority. The MPs wrote: “We have been horrified by the damage that Tory government austerity has wreaked in our communities, crippling our NHS, starving our struggling schools and transport networks, normalising street sleeping and failing to keep our streets safe.
“Yet sadly, when it came to polling day, Labour was led to its biggest defeat since 1935.
“We lost seats in every region and nation with a swing against us in every social class – with the biggest swing against us from the poorest people.
“The scale of this defeat means that we have to look unflinchingly at what went wrong, way beyond a simple review, welcome as that might be.
“We need to be honest about why our outgoing leadership’s reflexive anti-western worldview was so unpopular and address the reasons.”
Mary Creagh is one of the letter’s signatories
Jeremy Corbyn speaks in the Commons after the election
According to the group, which includes former MP Mrs Creagh, as well as Emma Reynolds and Anna Turley, the party’s defeat stemmed primarily from a “focus on nationalisation and uncontrolled spending commitments” as well as “cronyism at the top of the party and repeated unwillingness to stand up to the stain of antisemitism”.
The group added: “We are devastated that, across the country, we can no longer help our residents to whom we have devoted ourselves, still struggling under a Tory government.
“It is our duty to speak up now, so that our leadership candidates keep these people at the heart of their campaigns to lead our party.
“The challenge for the eventual winner is immense.
Emma Reynolds and Anna Turley also signed the letter to The Observer
“We need to win 150 seats in every corner of the country, gaining votes from a coalition of communities.
“Labour needs to be in government – and for that, fundamental change at the top of our party is required.
“Only this will help us recover from the catastrophic loss of 12 December.”
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Emma Reynolds’ tweet
Mrs Creagh, who lost her seat for Wakefield, confronted Mr Corbyn after was clearing out her office in Westminster and spotting him taking selfies with a group of young people.
She later told The Times: “I told him he shouldn’t be having his photo taken with young people because he had betrayed their future.
“I asked him to apologise for what he’d done.”
Labour’s key policies under Jeremy Corbyn
During a subsequent appearance on BBC2’s Newsnight, commenting on Mr Corbyn’s response to the election loss, she said: “We have bequeathed Tory austerity into the NHS, into our schools, into all our public services, and the prospect of a very hard Brexit at the end of next year.
“Frankly, there’s only one word people needed to hear from Jeremy and his team which is: ‘We’re sorry, we quit’.
“They didn’t say those words tonight.
“We have to wonder what on earth else they’ve got in store for the Labour Party.”
Boris Johnson sealed an 80-seat majority on December 12
On December 14, two days after the election, Mrs Reynolds, who also lost her Wolverhampton seat, tweeted: “Has been a great privilege to represent my home town in Parliament for 9 years.
“I want to thank all who voted for me at this & previous elections. Labour urgently needs a new leader, direction & project.
“Heart breaking we didn’t provide a credible alternative to this awful govt.”