Iain Dale challenges Shadow Commons Leader over Labour's 'devastating defeats'

10 May 2021, 21:07

By Fiona Jones

Iain Dale challenges Shadow Commons Leader Thangam Debbonaire over the future of the Labour Party after the 'devastating' election defeat.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has carried out a shadow cabinet reshuffle following the party's terrible performance at the ballot box last week.

The Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, has been removed from her position to be replaced by Rachel Reeves while former Chief Whip Nick Brown was replaced by Alan Campbell.

Thangam Debbonaire, formerly Shadow Housing Secretary, has now been appointed as Shadow Leader of the Commons.

The Shadow Leader told LBC: "Obviously we had very disappointing results from Hartlepool and some parts of the country. As the weekend wore on we also had some cracking results."

Ms Debbonaire cited new West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris and Tracy Brabin's "stonking" win in West Yorkshire as the first female Metro Mayor.

Iain responded, "You lost 322 council seats. After the Tories have been in power for eleven years that is incredibly disappointing."

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Ms Debbonaire agreed the result was "devastating": "We have to learn those lessons, we cannot just be flippant about this. We have to learn lessons about the very serious defeats as well as the victories."

With the Green Party polling 42% and Labour polling 29% in Ms Debbonaire's constituency of Bristol West, Iain questioned whether the upcoming party concerns her.

She responded that she is pleased her constituents are concerned by climate change, with many telling her they vote Green in local elections and Labour in general elections.

"I can't be complacent, nobody can," Ms Debbonaire said, "I think it's really important that we recognise that there was a real patchwork of results in Bristol and across the region.

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