Labour needs a 'snarling arrogant brawler' to take on Johnson, says caller

7 May 2021, 15:06

By Tim Dodd

Labour requires a "snarling, thick-skinned, arrogant brawler that will meet Johnson head on and take him to task", this caller didn't hesitate to tell James O'Brien.

It comes as Conservatives took key Labour seat Hartlepool for the first time in history.

Nick in Leicester said, "We need somebody who will point the finger at them and hold them to task."

James quickly replied: "Kinnock was right about Thatcherism, it didn't go him any good, and he was in many ways all of the things you describe, a passionate orator."

Read more: 'Labour is the problem not Keir Starmer', says MP Steve Reed after 'shattering' result

Talking about Labour, Nick said: "They're so quick to celebrate the fact that in the mill pond of Jersey, or the Channel Islands, we've got Boris Johnson going to war, and yet we've got the fisherman who are drowning in the seas of Brexit that he can't be bothered to protect."

Responding, James said Keir Starmer "can't stop sitting on his hands."

"I think Starmer is probably better off being behind a figurehead of the party, and you have a non-political head of the party, much like Boris Johnson is, [where] you've got the campaigner who can talk rubbish, and just shout and...the pub bore."

"So we've got to send someone into the ring who is like Johnson but without the moral disintegration?" James remarked.

James then said: "This lot are brilliant at inventing enemies and then promising to protect you from them. We're going to protect you from people who hate their country. Who hates their country? Nobody hates their country.

"We're going to protect you from people who want to pull down statutes of Winston Churchill. Who wants to pull down about eight spotty undergraduates who can't believe how much attention they generate?"

The Prime Minister hailed the results as "encouraging" during a visit to Coventry but has since gone to Hartlepool to celebrate with campaigners.

He told reporters: "For me, what this means is that it's a mandate for us to continue to deliver - not just for the people of Hartlepool, not just for the people of the North East, but across the whole of the country."

Read more: Hartlepool voter explains to James O'Brien why Tories took 'iconic' Labour seat