Labour Members Urged To 'Take It' To Party's Left During Conference

·3 min read
(Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)
(Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)

Keir Starmer’s allies have been urged by a shadow cabinet minister to “take it to” the party’s left during Labour’s conference this week.

Wes Streeting said die-hard Jeremy Corbyn supporters had “lost the argument” in the party, ahead of two crunch votes on changes to party rules.

“Every time they boo this week, you drown them out with applause,” Streeting told a meeting of self-described “moderate” party members on the fringes of the conference in Brighton on Sunday.

“We have now lost four general elections in a row. The Labour Party has never lost a fifth. We are not going to lose a fifth. We are going to make sure we win the next general election under Keir Starmer,” Streeting said.

“Give your full throated support to Keir Starmer because he is the person who is going to lead Labour back to power, rid us of this past, free us of our shackles, and make sure we have a Labour government delivering for this country again.

He added: “Don’t let anyone tell you this is a two-term project. That the mountain is too high, the challenge so big that we can’t win in one go.

“We have to win at the next election. Because there are millions of children living in poverty who can’t wait two terms for a Labour government.”

Labour members will vote later today on approving changes to the rules governing how the party leader is elected.

The package, which includes requiring candidates to have the support of 20% of MPs up from the current 10%, is facing stiff opposition from the left of the party who say it is designed to stop a leftwing MP ever again becoming leader.

Streeting said of Starmer’s critics: “The reason they’re booing, the reason they’re jeering, is because they know they have lost the argument.

“So let’s take it to them this week. Let’s make sure we leave this conference taking it to the Tories, ready to win the next general election with Keir Starmer as our leader.”

Conference will also vote on Starmer’s move to introduce an independent complaints process for allegations of anti-Semitism in the party.

It was among the changes demanded by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in its damning report into racism in the party.

Streeting said members of the Momentum campaign group, which helped elect Corbyn leader, should leave Labour if they oppose the change.

Momentum has said it is a “flawed interpretation” of the EHRC report as it gives too much power to the party general secretary’s office.

Streeting said: “Momentum and people who share their politics are very clear they were never interested in fighting anti-Semitism. They are voting against the fight against anti-Semitism.

“If that’s how they feel, if that’s their politics, this isn’t their party they know where the door is, we won’t miss them.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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