Labour 'way off' connecting with ordinary people says Harris-Quinney
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Chair of the Bow Group Ben Harris-Quinney spoke to Express.co.uk about the current state of Labour as he slammed the left-leaning party for not understanding its electorate due to its focus on certain political issues. Mr Harris-Quinney believes Sir Keir Starmer is not the right person for the Labour Party but admitted he could not see anyone else who could replace him. The think tank boss also explained how a weakened Labour Party is actually disastrous for wider politics and explained to Express.co.uk how they need to reconnect with the “ordinary Brit”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Harris-Quinney was asked his thoughts on the state of the Labour Party in light of several by-election failures.
He explained Labour has lost its way and because of this, the entire political system suffers.
Mr Harris-Quinney said: “Now, I think [Labour] have got to get back to the issues that are affecting ordinary working people in Britain.
“And to me, they just seem way off on so many issues.
“I don’t think here Starmer is the right man, but then, I don’t know who the right man is out of the set they’ve got at the moment so the whole party, it seems to me needs a rethink.
“It needs to reevaluate who they are speaking for, perhaps they need to go to a lot of the communities go and sit in a pub in Stoke, go and sit in a working man’s pub and realise that trans issues are not the number one concern for the average person in Britain.”
But while Conservatives would be assumed to relish in a weak opposition, Mr Harris-Quinney cleared this up and said it was overall bad for everyone that Labour was so weak.
He continued: “I do think it’s a problem because you know the way our parliamentary system works it is on the basis of having a strong opposition to hold the government to account.
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“There are an awful lot of things that the Conservative Party does that the Bow Group disagrees with.
“I think there’s an awful lot of issues that have gone unspoken off in parliament in the public debate issues, particularly affecting the poorest in society, that it has traditionally been the Labour Party’s job to represent and they’re just not doing that job.
“So I don’t want to see a tyranny of dictatorship where only one party rules Britain I want to see a strong opposition, maybe a variety of strong opposition parties.
“So I hope that the Labour Party and every other party reconnects with the ordinary Brit and I think if they do you’ll actually see a very different conversation in parliament.”
Over the past year, Labour has been criticised for not setting out a clear political agenda for people to rally behind with some pundits suggesting the public do not know what Sir Keir stands for.
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Labour MPs Dame Margaret Beckett and Ben Bradshaw have historically defended Sir Keir against these criticisms and say it is difficult for the opposition to get their voices heard during a time of national crisis – referring to the pandemic.
Mr Bradshaw says it was not right for people to demand Sir Keir comment on every political issue out there and told him during BBC Politics Live to “keep his powder dry” until the pandemic has ended.
Sir Keir however has revealed his “New Deal” which will focus on crime and getting people into secure and decent-paying jobs.
Announced this week, exactly a week on from the lockdown restrictions lifting on July 19, the details of the deal will be drip-fed throughout the summer as Labour seek to provide an alternative to the Conservative government’s recovery plans.
Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has pushed for all workers to receive full rights from day one and a ban on “fire and re-hire” schemes.
The schemes are often a tactic used by companies to put employees on new contracts which can be at the detriment of the worker.
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