Labour won't feel 'comfortable' despite election wins says expert
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The Labour supporter said his party making gains in the capital “means nothing” as he brushed off hopes of a recovery for the party run by Sir Keir Starmer. Sir Keir today hailed a “turning point” for Labour after they took the totemic Tory authority in Wandsworth, won Westminster for the first time since its creation in 1964 and clinched victory in Barnet, north London.
But Mr Embery tweeted: “David is a journalist who lives in Hampstead, north London. Trust me when I say that his tweet does not constitute evidence of a Labour recovery.”
He was tweeting in response to David Aaronovitch, a columnist for The Times, who posted on Twitter: “Voters just elected the first Labour councillor for this ward in the 25 years we’ve lived here.”
Mr Embery had earlier tweeted: “Polling guru John Curtice on the radio saying that the Brexit legacy continues to be a factor in Red Wall seats.
“Labour doing well in London means nothing. We need to recover lost voters across provincial England.
“The second referendum policy continues to damage us profoundly.”
This was echoed by Left-wing campaign group Momentum, allies of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who branded Labour’s local elections results as “underwhelming” and blamed Sir Keir’s stance towards left-wing MPs who previously backed his predecessor Mr Corbyn.
Mish Rahman, a senior Momentum figure on Labour’s National Executive Committee, said: “From partygate to the Tory cost-of-living crisis, these local elections were a golden opportunity for Labour.
“We’re delighted by gains in London, where Momentum members played a key role on the ground and as candidates, but these first results from the rest of England are distinctly underwhelming.
“While millions looked for an alternative to Tory ruin, they largely opted for the Lib Dems and Greens. Labour actually went backwards from Corbyn’s 2018 performance, a result which should bury Keir Starmer’s deeply flawed idea that punching left is a vote-winner.
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“Instead, we should look to places like Preston, where a Labour administration is delivering a radical economic alternative – and getting rewarded at the ballot box.
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party was ousted in Wandsworth, a low-tax Conservative stronghold since 1978, part of a trend in the British capital where voters used the elections to express anger over a cost-of-living crisis and fines imposed on the prime minister for breaking his own COVID-19 lockdown rules.
For the first time, the Labour Party clinched the council of Westminster, a district where most government institutions are located.
The Tories also lost control of the borough of Barnet, which has been held by the party in all but two elections since 1964.
The loss of key councils in London, where the Conservatives were almost wiped out, will increase pressure on Mr Johnson, who faces the possibility of more police fines over his attendance at other lockdown-breaking gatherings.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said Labour’s route to 10 Downing Street was “through London” as he praised Sir Keir for tackling antisemitism in the party.
Speaking in Westminster where Labour took control of the council, the London Mayor said: “I think Keir over the last few years has made huge progress in root-and-branch reform, getting rid of those who are antisemitic, putting forward a positive vision, being pro-business, we’re on the side of hard working families.
“In this borough there are seats we need to win to form a Labour government, in Barnet there are seats we need to win to form a Labour government.
“The route for us to get to 10 Downing Street is through London.”
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