Five questions for the Labour leadership candidates

Jon Cruddas

This letter has already been sent to each of the candidates, and follows research carried out into Labour’s election defeat in May. 

Labour leadership candidates debate

Dear Labour leadership contender,

Today voting begins in the leadership contest and so I am writing to each of the candidates inviting you to  respond to the findings of our Independent Inquiry.

In the last ten days I have published  a series of articles which set out our initial findings on why Labour lost the election in May. They are based on a sample of 3000 voters in England and Wales. We will be releasing more findings from our polling, including a 1000 strong poll for Scotland.

The Inquiry includes Compass, Progress, the Co-op Party, The Fabian Society, the Labour Group of the Local Government Association, and the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation.

Our initial findings represent the first part of the work we are undertaking, but already they tell a deeply worrying story of a Labour Party that is out of  touch with the country and becoming progressively more so.

Like yourself and many thousands of others  the Labour Party means everything to me. It has been a great civilizing force in our country. But I believe we now face the biggest crisis in our history.

At this critical moment you are offering yourself as the next leader of the Party. It is an extraordinary responsibility and I admire and thank you for being willing to shoulder it.

As our members and supporters start choosing which candidate to vote for, I am asking you to help them make their decision by responding to our findings. Thousands have read the articles and they will value your responses, as will the organisations supporting the Inquiry.

It would be helpful if you could respond by next Friday 21 August. To ensure openness and debate I have asked Labour List if they will publish your responses and they have agreed.

I have set out the questions below and beneath each of them is the link to the relevant article.

  1. There is a large part of the electorate Labour must win back who vote pragmatically for the party which offers them the best prospect of personal economic advancement. How will you win back these voters?
  1. How will you convince the electorate that public spending and their taxes are secure with Labour and that we are the party of fiscal responsibility?  
  1. Immigration remains a significant national issue, particularly amongst socially conservative voters. How will you address concerns about the impact on services and provision, and about identity and belonging that are causing many of these voters to desert Labour?
  1. Our welfare system has neither the trust nor the confidence of a majority of the electorate. There is a widespread belief that it gives to those who don’t deserve and abandons those who do. What approach to reform would you take?
  1. Can you indicate how you might start a process of renewing the image, the practices and the politics of the party in order to reverse its growing cultural exclusivity and widen its appeal in the country?

I appreciate that these are difficult questions to answer but each is central to the future of the Party.

Thank you.

Wish best wishes,

Jon Cruddas

Everything Labour.
Every weekday morning.

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