Labour was “mad” to push for a second Brexit referendum, according to rising star Lisa Nandy.
The Wigan MP said her local constituents thought the party had gone “absolutely mad” – and they were right.
Labour backed a second referendum in 2019, with then-Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer pledging to “give the public the final say on Brexit”.
Ms Nandy said that in the corridors of the House of Commons she “couldn’t shake the feeling that people had completely lost the plot”.
Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to a landslide in that year’s general election and she became convinced that if her party did not change “that would be the end of the Labour party”.
“I thought we’d die and we would deserve to,” she said.
She stood in the subsequent leadership contest, finishing third behind Left-winger Rebecca Long-Bailey and Sir Keir. However, she is confident that Labour will one day have its first female leader.
She believes this is an “existential” issue for the party and a “huge deal”. The 43-year-old said the “problem” is that people have an idea of what a Labour leader looks like “based on what it’s always been”.
Ms Nandy said she was told by many members that she did not “look like a Prime Minister” and admitted she found this “depressing”.
But she told Gloria De Piero on GB News that “the young women in particular won’t have it and there are lots of young women in our party now who are starting to change the game”.
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She gave a scathing assessment of her party during the Jeremy Corbyn years, saying it was “horrendous” that in the wake of the Salisbury poisonings people thought Labour was “siding with Putin over the British people”.
Ms Nandy initially served as Shadow Energy Secretary under Mr Corbyn but resigned in 2016 and served as a co-chair of Owen Smith’s campaign for the Labour leadership.
In her interview she also gives an insight into her home life, describing the fondness she shares with her eight year-old son for playing video games.
She said: “We got him a Nintendo Switch during the pandemic, more as a way to keep us sane than to entertain him, to be honest. And I was on it so much that in the end I had to get my own because it was causing rows in the house.”
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