Tristram Hunt: There will be no Labour split

5th September, 2015 9:16 am

Tristram Hunt 1

The Labour Party will not split if Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader, Tristram Hunt will declare today. The Shadow Education will say that the party’s history has been marked by two splits, both originating from the right of the party, and both leading to long periods of Conservative Government.

Speaking at today’s Progress West Midlands conference, Hunt plans to say that while the Labour leadership election is “far from over”, all of the party must accept the result and “stay loyal to Labour”. He says he has “no patience” with talk of splits or legal challenges to the result.

Hunt has been accused of already plotting against Corbyn in the event of the left winger becoming leader next Saturday. Along with Chuka Umunna, he has recently co-founded the new Labour for the Common Good group, which some believe is to organise “resistance” against Corbyn. However, Umunna has dismissed this speculation.

While Hunt does not shy away from reaffirming today that he disagrees with many of Corbyn’s policies, he makes clear that it is important to “stay loyal to Labour”.

In his speech, he will say:

“The history of our party is marked by two great splits – National Labour in the 30s and the SDP in the 80s. Both came from the right. Both achieved nothing but prolonged periods of Conservative rule.

“The lesson we should draw from this is that no matter what happens next week – and this contest is far from over – we must accept the result, stay loyal to Labour, and work with everyone in our movement to rebuild Labour as a party of government, not just a voice of protest.

“I have no patience with anyone muttering now about breakaways or legal challenges or changing the rules to keep people out. They are playing into the hands of the Tories. Whoever is elected as the new Labour leader next week, I will continue to serve our party, seeking to hold this government to account and to develop the ideas, policies and campaigns that we need to become a government ourselves once more.

“I disagree with Jeremy Corbyn on much but that is nothing compared to the revulsion I feel for what this Tory government is doing to our communities, to our public services, and to our country. So forget talks of splits. Now is the time for a loyalty that declares: we are Labour, we will always be Labour and we will, with perseverance and renewal, find our way back.”

Value our free and unique service?

LabourList has more readers than ever before - but we need your support. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

If you can support LabourList’s unique and free service then please click here.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends