Shadow Chancellor backtracks after suggesting Labour's patriotism strategy is "spin"

5 February 2021, 11:09 | Updated: 5 February 2021, 12:05

Anneliese Dodds suggested the Labour plan was just "spin"
Anneliese Dodds suggested the Labour plan was just "spin". Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds today suggested that Labour's patriotism strategy was nothing more than "spin", before quickly backtracking in an interview with LBC's Nick Ferrari.

A leaked report prepared for the party said Labour should “make use of the flag, veterans and dressing smartly” as part of a rebranding to win back “red wall” voters who switched to Conservatives in 2019.

The strategy document recommends that the party should deploy patriotic themes to give voters a "sense of authentic values alignment".

Speaking on LBC, Dodds was asked by Nick: "Is the secret to winning back your foundation seats to dress smartly and salute the flag?"

Dodds responded: "I hope you would agree that I always dress smartly, Nick."

She then added: "I think when I talk to people they're not interested in spin."

Ferrari then asked: "So it was spin?" prompting Dodds to backtrack and responded: "No, I wouldn't say that."

The Shadow Chancellor said what Labour is putting forward are ideas and the policies that will make the UK stronger.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stands in front of the Union flag in the first moments of a campaign video put out at the beginning of the week.

The leaked document has been criticised by a number of MPs, including former shadow cabinet ministers Clive Lewis and Richard Burgeon, who said it risked alienating young and BAME voters.

A recent poll found the Labour leader was found to be "less relatable" than Eton-educated Boris Johnson, but he did score vastly better than Jeremy Corbyn.