Paul Flynn backs Umunna for leader

10th May, 2015 11:17 am

Paul Flynn, who has been the MP for Newport West since 1987, has spoken out about the Labour leadership,

paul flynn

On his website, Flynn criticises Labour for backing Miliband. He has said: “The Labour Party is too nice to dump its leaders – even when they are liabilities.” In particular Flynn has pinpointed Miliband’s line on the economy during the Question Time leadership debate on as a failure. Flynn has written:

It was entirely true that the past Labour Government did not waste money. But politics is not determined by truths. It is informed by perceptions.

To move away from what he views as Labour’s mistakes, Flynn says “lessons must be learned” and notes that there’s a danger “that yet again we could choose a leader because of his or her position on the political spectrum.”

As rumours circulate about who will stand to be the next Labour leader, Flynn has unequivocally thrown his backing behind former shadow business minister:

To restore public trust in Labour we need an eloquent, charismatic personality strengthened by intellectual depth and debating skills. I have made my choice. It’s Chuka.

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  • Celticchickadee

    ‘Personality at the top of the senTo restore public trust in Labour we need an eloquent, charismatic personality strengthened by intellectual depth and debating skills.’

    Personality at the top of that sentence? If that implies top priority – ok that might not be the implication but it does leap out at you – then that worries me. What worries me even more though is the complete absence of any mention of values from that sentence…

  • Monkey_Bach

    “To restore public trust in Labour we need an eloquent, charismatic personality strengthened by intellectual depth and debating skills.”


    “It’s Chuka.”

    Now is not the time for jests, Mr Flynn.


  • Mukkinese

    Yes, perception is what counts, but come on Paul, regardless of your own opinion of Chuka, he comes across as another career politician. In fact the epitome of a career politician.

    Have you not noticed that people despise those they see as career politicians right now?

    Dan Jarvis is a far more appealing choice. A war hero, a northerner, free of the taint of government and the expenses scandal and a sincere and honest man.

    He is an asset we should not ignore…

    • g978

      Correct Chuka is a career politician and I am not sure he would win back white working class seats in the Midlands. Read today’s Observer with reports on how UKIP cost Labour many Midland seats.

      • Patrick Nelson

        It strikes me that Chuka Umunna is handsome, polished and intelligent and would do well in all those urban parts of Britain that are currently doing well, overall I think he would be a little bit more popular than Ed, but as Labour would have to also sell him as future PM to poor white swing voters (people who very often don’t benefit from an appreciation of a multicultural multiracial Britain) to win an election it would be a mammoth task indeed.

    • Chuka Umunna talks a lot of sense in The Observer, and there is something to be said for a Leader who is young enough to be the son of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Harriet Harman; one of us whose first vote in a General Election was in 1997; someone who was never in Parliament with Tony Blair.

      Affordable housing would seem a more obvious priority than rehousing Parliament, but the problem is real, and Umunna may be ahead of the game on this one. Does he want to move it to Streatham? George Galloway wanted to move it to Bradford. Before he became a candidate for Mayor of London. In all seriousness, the Palace of Westminster is falling down. That issue demands to be confronted.

      Ignore, of course, the ritual, Waiting for Godot references to electoral reform and to an elected second chamber.

      But all eyes remain on Andy Burnham. It would then be Umunna after him. Has Chuka Umunna’s time come? Or is there time yet?

  • Dez

    ‘It was entirely true that the past Labour Government did not waste money.’

    Totally absurd,every government wastes money but not on the scale of New Labour.

    Just one of many examples,£11 billion wasted on an NHS computer system that had to be scrapped, this is just laughable everyone knows that enormous amounts of money was wasted but Paul Flynn is still trying to pretend it didn’t happen.

    Please wake up and face the facts and not try and rewrite history.

    • Mukkinese

      Whether any government spends too much or wastes money is always going to be a matter of opinion. Lists can be made and compared of perceived waste and recklessness from all governments, but that is beside the point.

      The important implication has been that Labour’s spending contributed significantly to the deficit and crash.

      A; Lest we all forget, the international credit crunch was caused by the banks and financial markets, not by Labour.

      B; Britain suffered more than most because of our reliance on the financial sector.

      C; The IMF calculates that Labour’s spending before the crash, too much or not, contributed no more than 2% to the deficit. So that is hardly a cause for major blame.

      D; The massive spending after the crash, Q.E. spent on Government bonds and the bank bailout did contribute to the deficit significantly, about 37% of it.

      Was that Labour’s big economic mistake?

      No. Q.E. was used to buy our own debt, about a quarter of it, and did not result in inflation as we have seen and the bailout was both needed and was supported 100% by every Tory and LibDem M.P. who all voted for it…

      • g978

        Labours over spending (they spent more than they brought in) did not cause the crash, but it did cause the 10% deficit (unprecedented in post war Britain). We were left after 14 years of economic growth with a deficit close to 3% which when the recession came was bound to go up.
        The other parties may have agreed with it, but that doesn`t count. Just like in the 90s Labour supported the ERM but it was the Conservatives who took the blame when we came crashing out. We would have come crashing out if Kinnock had been elected. But the party in power gets the blame, so just take it here.

    • bevinboy

      Exactly, Flynn’s comments are ridiculous.

      Just in a state of denial.

      Labour has no future unless we admit what was wrong what we did wrong.

      and Chuka will not go down well anywhere in the north .

      It probably HAS to be Jarvis.

      If we do an analysis of what is REALLY needed, he self selects.

      • Paul Richardson

        Do we know where Dan Jarvis stands yet. Stella Creasy, Chuka at least were setting out thrir stalls in the Observer today. Not seen anything from Jarvis yet.

        Personally, constitutional change is the top priority so interested that Chuka mentioned House of Lords and modt importantly voting system. Of course, I would hope that these are part of all thrir platforms.

        • Personally, constitutional change is the top priority

          You must be a very rich man.

          • Paul Richardson

            No. I strongly believe that the only way to restore the long term reputation of politics is to encourage participation. If people ignore and deride politics, the politicians can ignore them. Such a cycle ends eventually n revolution.
            So contrary to your view constitutional change is NOT an indulgence.

  • CPFC

    He voted for David Miliband in 2010 and wants a right-wing, so called ‘centrist’ leader again this time.

  • Marco

    Not sure how anyone can back a leader without knowing what they’re proposing. Bit previous, I’d say.

  • imw101

    Chucky’s definitely the best choice – if you don’t give a wotsit about the vote outside the M25

    • CrunchieTime

      Roll on the UKIP wipe out of the north if Chukka gets the leadership. That red band on the electoral map along the M62 corridor will turn purple.

      • We all know what this means. “They won’t vote for a darkie in the North.” Rubbish. And there is now nothing else, since UKIP has crashed and burned.

        • CrunchieTime

          I think you need to reconsider your membership of the Labour Party and the human race for writing a vile statement like that.

          UKIP came second to Labour in the north. Many of those who voted UKIP are traditional Labour supporters just like those who voted me in as a Labour councillor in 1998. I think they deserve better than you and the current Labour Party. If Labour choose a metropolitan elite leader such as Umunna, they could well wipe you out just as the SNP have.

          And I for one couldn’t blame them, you arrogant #%@&

          • I am mixed-race and from the North. Someone always did come second up here. UKIP’s voters are not traditional Labour. They are traditional, or at least previously habitual, Tories. And UKIP’s 50 per cent reduction in seats is the end of it.

          • CrunchieTime

            No, you are completely wrong. UKIP took more votes from Labour than they did from the Tories. Ignore them if you want, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • Graeme Hancocks

    Now that Dan Jarvis has ruled himself out., I would agree. Please not AB or YC. Nice able people but just recycled “politicos” in same old mould as poor EM. I liked EM but when he was elected my heart sank and said to person standing next to me “the election is lost”.

    • The revival of the Snoopers’ Charter by Theresa May, and the appointment of the totally unqualified Michael Gove as Justice Secretary, ought to preclude any suggestion of Yvette Cooper as Leader of the Labour Party.

      Cooper comes out of the New Labour authoritarian school that imposed all manner of assaults on civil liberties, and which failed to oppose adequately, if at all, the ones proposed since 2010.

      The teachers managed to get rid of Gove, and they had nothing like the means at their disposal that the lawyers have. This is going to be great fun to watch. But while he is there, then he needs to be opposed properly in Parliament.

      As for May, she has created the situation whereby the Government could enact any anti-union laws that it liked, because no one would ever be arrested under them. The people who would be supposed to make the arrests would themselves be engaged in unlawful industrial action, or just in a general refusal to co-operate with the regime.


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