David Lammy: Labour needs to stop infighting and ‘washing dirty linen in public’

The Tottenham MP, one of just a few shadow Cabinet members who have served in Government, also called on MPs and party members to cease “washing our dirty linen in public”.

He issued the appeal on the eve of Labour’s annual rally in Brighton as the party is hit by a fresh bout of infighting over leadership election rules and Sir Keir Starmer’s 11,500-word principles-and-vision essay.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Standard, Mr Lammy also stressed:

* Sir Keir has a “big political moment” to address the nation with his conference speech on Wednesday. On how Labour’s leader could inspire voters, he said: “You inspire by setting out a vision that people can believe in.”

* Labour must not become a party just representing cities and other major urban areas, but to regain power must also win in “new town areas, suburban parts of Britain, rural parts of Britain”.

* It had to persuade more voters to “trust” the party with their “money, health and children’s education”.

* His party would go “toe-to-toe” in holding Boris Johnson to account for broken Brexit promises.

* Much of the “culture war” is a “side show” compared to many of the issues facing voters, but it “drives hate and division”.

* Youth unemployment, particularly among black Londoners, and so many Londoners living below the basic income level were issues that needed tackling rather than “banging on about statues”.

* Slammed the failure to rid residential blocks of inflammable cladding more than four years after the Grenfell Tower disaster.

“No-one in their right mind would have thought that that was possible in the sixth richest economy in the world,” he said.


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