An "overwhelming" amount of people rejected Jeremy Corbyn, admits Margaret Beckett

13 December 2019, 18:11

Margaret Beckett admitted that when she was out campaigning, an "overwhelming" amount of people rejected Jeremy Corbyn as leader and couldn't make "head nor tail" of the Labour message.

When asked why Labour lost, the former foreign secretary admitted, "I don't have the answers. I don't feel we had the answers last time"; however she did say it was essential that moving forward the party must listen to each other and bury their prejudices.

Eddie asked what she thought the electorate was saying about Labour to Labour.

"I fear they didn't find us credible as an alternative government," Dame Beckett said, "which is a very damning judgement for a party to face."

She found when knocking on doors the overwhelming nature and response that Labour got was "rejection of Jeremy as leader". She continued that the electorate felt there was a "huge amount of confusion" around the manifesto and election and people "couldn't make head nor tail of it."

Eddie quoted the Opinium poll which asked why people chose not to vote Labour: 12% due to economic policies, 17% was Brexit policy, 43% was leadership.

The former foreign secretary said people couldn&squot;t make "head nor tail" of the political situation
The former foreign secretary admitted people couldn't make "head nor tail" of the political situation. Picture: PA

"It's sad. There isn't any doubt Jeremy came into the post with a lot of baggage and that wasn't easy for him to deal with," she said and acknowledged that at first he was "extremely inexperienced" but overcame a lot of that.

Eddie asked about the political organisation Momentum which has been supportive of Jeremy Corbyn and has been described as a "cult" - does that association need to be changed?

Dame Beckett said she didn't really know what this question meant and instead moved on to say she feared Labour repeating historic mistakes which saw an attitude of "the people have it wrong, we don't need to change anything at all."

Eddie asked if the date of Jeremy Corbyn resigning matters, considering his unpopularity, to which the Labour MP pointed out that due to the deputy leader's resignation there is no one immediately to take over.

She admitted that there would be conflict over who would take on the role which reflects the state of the party.