Caroline Flint will today launch a campaign – entitled #ReachOut – as part of her bid for deputy leader.
Flint announced she’d be standing a couple of weeks ago on Radio4 . She has said that the aim of this campaign is to ask Labour Party members and supporters to be why Labour lost and what they think the party need to do to change. She’s also asked these people to speak to friends, family and others they know who might have voted Labour in the past but didn’t earlier this month, to find out why they made this decision.
The campaign will be launched at lunchtime tomorrow lunchtime – between 12-13pm Flint is asking people to send her messages on Twitter, using the hashtag #ReachOut.
Flint has said that she doesn’t believe Labour’s loss had anything to do with the campaign on the ground, saying “our members and our supporters were our greatest strength in the campaign.” Instead she argues in a blog on her campaign website that if she was elected as deputy leader she would “harness the strength of our grassroots” “to learn the right lessons from the election defeat.”
The Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change has said that she doesn’t want candidates to spend this contest telling party members what they think they want to hear. She said her priority is to listen to and learn from people who “didn’t vote for you.”
Flint is one of seven people standing to be deputy leader. The others on the list are: Rushanara Ali, Ben Bradshaw, Stella Creasy, Angela Eagle, John Healey and Tom Watson. Each person needs the backing of 35 MPs to make it onto the ballot – as there are 232 Labour MPs not every person who has put their name forward will qualify.
Update: A group of 12 MPs have announced they’re supporting Flint to be deputy leader. They read as follows:
- Gerald Kaufman
- George Howarth
- Ann Coffey
- Margaret Hodge
- Alan Whitehead
- Gisela Stuart
- Jim Fitzpatrick
- Angela Smith
- Alex Cunningham
- Anna Turley
- Carolyn Harris
- Stephen Kinnock
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