'Less sneering' from metropolitan Labour will win back northern seats, Maajid Nawaz insists

8 May 2021, 14:53

By Seán Hickey

Maajid Nawaz claims that the electorate saw through Labour's 'gestures' in the run up to the elections, which led to the campaign's failure.

"People can see through gestures" Maajid Nawaz began, trying to pin down where Labour failed in the elections following a disastrous result.

He suggests that northern and seaside voters felt that the party turned their nose up at the culture in these areas and any attempt to connect with them was posturing.

"What would have been more effective is if certain Labour voices and certain voices in the left...would stop scoffing and sneering at those who do put flags in their windows," he said.

Maajid noted that within Labour "it backfired on Sir Keir when he received that advice on flag flying" as metropolitan members saw the gesture as too nationalistic.

Read More: 'Current strategy isn't working': Diane Abbott calls on Starmer to 'unify' Labour

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

"What people want is for you to not sneer at them, not try mimic them in a fake way to try and show that they're with you."

He told listeners that "people can see through these gestures" and the massive losses for Labour is testament to this.

Maajid added that gaining support in these seats is "not about flag waving" but rather about speaking to the concerns of local people.

"That doesn't mean Palestine is not important, it doesn't mean anti-racism is not important, it doesn't mean LGBT issues are not important," but he urged the party to not "lead with those issues."

"Less sneering, fewer gestures," Maajid offered as a concluding piece of advice.