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Labour will lose the next general election, says Len McCluskey

16 June 2022, 20:13 | Updated: 16 June 2022, 22:44

Len McCluskey said he did not believe Labour could win the next election.
Len McCluskey said he did not believe Labour could win the next election. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Labour will lose the next general election, Len McCluskey has said.

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Speaking on LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, the former General Secretary of Unite and Corbyn supporter said, despite the Government's "unpopularity", the chances of Labour taking over were very small.

That is despite Labour's consistent lead over the Tories, sometimes stretching to double digits, in recent opinion polls.

"The thing about Keir is that his greatest asset at the moment is Boris Johnson," Mr McCluskey told Andrew.

"The constant shooting in the foot and behaviour of the Prime Minister is extraordinary but it sees to me that Keir, who wanted unity to be his most important thing, has failed miserably in that we have a divided party.

"It also seems to me that his team around him have taken a view that says 'let's say nothing about anything because we might get asked by the media to cost them'.

"The reality is, of course, that if there was a general election, even next week with all the unpopularity of the Government - but in my opinion it won't come until late next year - we will not win.

"Keir will not win."

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He explained: "We need to win back our red wall seats, our heartlands, and he won't do it because at the moment no one knows what Keir stands for, his vision, or what Labour stands for."

Mr McCluskey's comments come in spite of him having been a member of the Labour party for 52 years.

During his time in the union, he earned himself the title of 'Red Len' due to his political stance, particularly after his involvement in Unite's dispute with British Airways.

When asked about what Labour's big vision should be, Mr McCluskey said: "Well the vision is basically what was laid out both in the 2017 election, policies that were extremely popular, and indeed the platform in which Keir ran on to win the leadership."

He added: "It doesn't need to be Corbynism it needs to be policies that ordinary working people feel will make their lives better."

"No one knows what Labour stands for. He has to put forward a vision that says 'I'm going to make life better for you, I'm going to make life better for your children, I'm going to protect the National Health Service, I'm going to do away with zero hours, I'm going to protect the elderly, I'm going to change the care system...'" Mr McCluskey said.

"He needs to put something that will enthuse people because if he doesn't - if he's just relying on the Tories being unpopular and [Boris] Johnson being fool, then people will not vote for Labour."

Mr McCluskey has been a strong advocate for former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during his time in the party, with him being backed by Unite during his leadership race.

He told Andrew that he still supported Mr Corbyn even after the removal of his whip back in 2020.

Despite Mr McCluskey calling for more from Labour, two upcoming by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton are set to give a guide on the party's position among the public, with them expected to take back Wakefield.

The constituency was part of Labour's 'red wall', which the Tories took during the 2019 general election.