Newly-elected Labour MPs call for a leader who won’t “draw back to New Labour”

15th May, 2015 10:23 am

futureWith a leadership and deputy leadership contest underway, many are offering their view on which path the party should take post-Miliband.

A group of newly-elected MPs, which include the likes of Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh and Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, have joined the fray. They’ve published an open letter calling for a break from New Labour.

In their letter, the 10 new MPs say that they want a leader who will “challenge an agenda of cuts, take on the powerful vested interests of big business and will set out an alternative to austerity.” 

They also look at the longer political history – not just focussing on Labour’s recent defeat – by pointing out that the party needs to reach out to the five million voters that Labour lost since 1997.

You can read the full letter here:

Having arrived in Westminster as newly-elected Labour MPs after speaking to tens of thousands of voters during our election campaigns, we know how important it is for the future of our Party to move forward with an agenda that best serves the everyday needs of people, families and communities and that is prepared to challenge the notion of austerity and invest in public services.

Labour must now reach out to the five million voters lost since 1997, and those who moved away from Labour in Scotland and elsewhere on 7 May, renewing their hope that politics does matter and Labour is on their side.

As we seek a new leader of the Labour Party, we are needing one who looks forward and will challenge an agenda of cuts, take on the powerful vested interests of big business and will set out an alternative to austerity – not one who will draw back to the ‘New Labour’ creed of the past.

Now is the time Labour needs a leader who’s in tune with the collective aspiration of ordinary people and communities across Britain, meeting the need for secure employment paying decent wages, homes that people can call their own, strong public services back in public hands again and the guarantee of a real apprenticeship or university course with a job at the end of it. From restoring Sure Start to providing dignity and a good standard of living in retirement, these are the aspirations key to real Labour values today and will re-engage people across our country in the years to come.

We look forward to engaging in the debate surrounding the Labour leadership in the weeks ahead to secure our Party as being best able to meet the challenges faced by ordinary people at this time.

SIGNED:

Richard Burgon (Leeds East)

Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley)

Harry Harpham (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough)

Imran Hussain (Bradford East)

Clive Lewis (Norwich South)

Rebecca Long Bailey (Salford and Eccles)

Rachael Maskell (York Central)

Kate Osamor (Edmonton)

Cat Smith (Lancaster and Fleetwood)

Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)

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