Labour missed an “open goal” in failing to win majority against chaotic May, says former shadow cabinet minister

Labour missed an “open goal” in failing to win a majority at the general election despite the chaos surrounding Theresa May’s administration, a former shadow chancellor has said.

Chris Leslie played down the high spirits surrounding Labour’s gains on Thursday and said the result was “not good enough” and should not not be seen as a “famous victory”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, the Nottingham East MP, who held his seat by almost 20,000 votes, said Corbyn had run an effective campaign but that there is still a Conservative sitting in Number 10.

Leslie said Labour had missed an “open goal” in not winning a majority and that he had never known a prime minster as beatable as May.

He said: “I will never apologise for my view, which is, yes of course you’ve got to inspire people, and we haven’t done that well enough in the past.

“But you’ve got to convince them of your credibility and that you can move from protesting about the government to being in government.”

Leslie, also a former minister who has been an occasional critic of Jeremy Corbyn, did not commit to serving in a shadow cabinet if asked, saying he feared an issue would arise that could go against his principles and he would have to resign.

Questions should be asked about how the party can win a majority, he added, staying that he would never give in arguing for a pathway to a majority Labour government.

 

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