Jeremy Corbyn in power would 'end in tears', says ex-home secretary Jack Straw

30 September 2019, 16:42

Former home secretary Jack Straw has said Labour is going down the wrong route with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm.

Mr Straw was speaking at the Henley literature festival about his book, The English Job, about Iran, but also admitted he had been having doubts about voting Labour, despite decades in the party.

Speaking to Sky News' Alistair Bunkall, Mr Straw said: "I think the route Mr Corbyn is taking the party down is not the right one and it will end in tears were he ever to get in power."

At the Labour Party conference last week, the party voted to campaign for a four-day week, to scrap Ofsted and abolish private schools, and to maintain a neutral stance on Brexit.

The party's position on leaving the EU has been a source of frustration among some of its members as inconsistencies among members of the top team emerged.

Labour has said it wants a second referendum, but after another election, and ideally after a government headed by Mr Corbyn has been able to negotiate a new Brexit deal.

Mr Straw, 73, is not the only Labour party grandee to confess to doubts over the current leadership and strategy of the party. Spin doctor Alistair Campbell was booted out after he admitted to voting for the Liberal Democrats, and has been a campaigner for a people's vote.

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Unlike Mr Campbell, the former home and foreign secretary said he would still vote Labour for "tribal reasons" but admitted he'd had doubts.

"Yes, I've had doubts, that's fair to say.

"I worked for the Labour Party as a runner on a polling station when I was eight in 1955 for Pete's sake, even that I'm having that conversation tells you something about the sad position that the party has got to," he said.

Mr Straw is one of only three people to have served continuously in Labour cabinets between 1997 and 2010, the others being Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.

He was home secretary from 1997 to 2001, foreign secretary from 2001 until 2006, then leader of the House of Commons for a year, before being justice secretary from 2007 to 2010.