‘What does that mean!’ MP struggles to answer what Labour stands for in brutal grilling

Naga Munchetty asks ‘what is Labour changing into’

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Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds was caught on the back foot by BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty who launched a scathing attack on Labour’s core values in light of their devastating election results so far in UK local elections. Mr Thomas-Symonds struggled to outline the direction Labour were travelling in and insisted Labour must “reflect on” the result and consider “why we have to change” to appeal to voters who have changed allegiances.

Naga Munchetty asked Mr Thomas-Symonds” “What is the Labour Party changing into, because that’s what a lot of the voters say they just don’t know. They just don’t know what Labour stands for?”

The Shadow Home Secretary replied: “Labour’s values will never change we fundamentally and always will believe in building a more equal society where every single person in that society is valued for their contribution to it.

“And what they bring to our society so that will always be Labour’s central values. What we have to do is to re-imagine…”

But Ms Munchetty interjected slamming: “But I genuinely don’t know what that means!” 

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In a quick reply the Labour MP said: “Well let me give you a specific example about what that means.

“We have seen our frontline workers throughout the pandemic not actually now being rewarded for what they’ve done. They’ve put themselves on the line, they’ve gone to work day in day out. They’ve been rewarded with a pay freeze.”

And in a reflective moment the MP accepted: “We have to ask ourselves why it is that people have not seen Labour as the answer to the problems they face in their everyday lives and the injustices we see.

“What’s happened over the last four defeats in general elections, whether its in Hartlepool other places as well.”

Keir Starmer outlines planned Labour Party 'changes'

In a damming admission about the state of Labour he said: “People do not see about as answering those concerns and that’s now what we have to reflect on and why we have to change.”

The Shadow Home Secretary’s comments come as Labour incurred a devastating loss on Friday as the Tories took the former Labour stronghold seat of Hartlepool.

The Conservatives won Leave-supporting North East constituency for the first time since it was created almost 50 years ago.

Jill Mortimer secured a 6,940 majority, winning 15,529 votes to Labour candidate Dr Paul Williams’ 8,589.


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Ms Mortimer described her by-election victory as a “truly historic result”.

The win was a taste of more to come as the Tories made huge gains in local elections across the country as they ousted Labour in numerous councils.

Labour lost control of Harlow council as well as Nuneaton council to the Tories in devastating blows to the party’s future under leader Keir Starmer.

Speaking on Friday, Sir Keir told reporters: “I am bitterly disappointed in the results and I take full responsibility for the result and I will take full responsibility for fixing things.”

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