Good riddance to Lord Warner, a man who claimed to be Labour, voted with the Tories, and has now left the party, shouting loudly that it can’t win elections unless it goes back to being a pale blue alternative to the Conservatives.
John Prescott had it right when he tweeted: “Lord Warner. A minister you’ve never heard of who wanted to charge people £10 a month to use the NHS. No credibility. No great loss.”
And Owen Smith, shadow work and pensions secretary, elaborated: “He voted with the Tories a couple of years ago under the last Labour leadership to privatise parts of the NHS. He’s someone who has advocated charging for the NHS, charging to stay overnight. I think he’s been leaving Labour for quite a while. I’m not sure we will miss him too much.”
“Leaving Labour for quite a while” is a description that applies to a large number of the party’s MPs, and it is only with the change of leadership that this is finally being acknowledged. It’s time a large number of those who hold similar views to Lord Warner stood down to make way for members who hold true to the original Labour ideal.
And they’d better do it quietly from now on.
In his letter to Corbyn, Warner said he would sit as a crossbencher in future after deciding that Labour was no longer “a credible party of government-in-waiting”. He added: “Labour will only win another election with a policy approach that wins back people who have moved to voting Conservative and Ukip, as well as to Greens and SNP. Your approach is unlikely to achieve this shift.”
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