Does anybody else find it extremely odd that Chuka Umunna has publicly demanded an internal inquiry into Labour’s local election campaign when the party was bound to hold one in any case?
I expect every political organisation involved in the local elections on May 3 will be holding its own post-mortem (so to speak) into their campaign, the reception it received, and the results.
So it seems redundant that Mr Umunna has turned to the national media to demand one. Could it be possible that he has another reason for doing so?
Jess Phillips and Chuka Umunna demand inquest on local election results and WHY they ended up with so much EGG on their FACE after working so hard to ensure Labour were the losers, they need to know WHY they FAILED after so many attempts to Destroy Corbyn, Inquest open on twitter
— Isobel #PCPEU (@Isobel_waby) May 5, 2018
Sorry your struggling to understand result BBC predict would make Labour largest party in a general election with 283 seats, up 21 with Tories losing 38 seats, down to 280. It was strong leadership + brilliant campaigning from Labour supporters & Momentum https://t.co/b2Smh3FLKu
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) May 4, 2018
Chuka Umunna called for an internal inquiry into Labour’s local election campaign, warning that the results cannot leave it confident of success at the next national poll.
No local election can ever leave a political party confidence of national success; they are not the same.
Mr Umunna said the advances which could be expected at this stage in the electoral cycle under a “divided and incompetent” Government had failed to materialise.
It seems he was taken in by the raised expectations which, it seems, the Conservatives instilled in the public.
Labour talked down the party’s expectations for the election – and rightly so, considering some of the developments that have happened recently.
They include the NCC’s decision to victimise a black anti-racism campaigner by calling him a racist; the party leadership’s apparent inability to decry accusations of anti-Semitism for what they are – attempts to blow a small problem hugely out of proportion; and of course the failure of 78 Labour MPs to support a Parliamentary motion demanding that Tory racism, in the form of the ‘hostile environment’ policy that led to the Windrush scandal, receive a proper airing with the publication of all documents relating to it.
Mr Umunna told BBC Radio 4’s World at One that “the whole Labour leadership” had to address the failure to capitalise on Government divisions, faltering Brexit negotiations and voter concern over the economy and public services.
These are all Westminster-related.
“From a Labour point of view there needs to be a proper post-mortem – I think the National Executive Committee should appoint somebody to do that – on this result,” said the Streatham MP.
“We haven’t gone forwards and if we are looking to form an election-winning majority, we cannot be confident of that happening based on the results yesterday.”
Mr Umunna said that concern over anti-Semitism allegations had “undeniably” been a factor in areas such as Barnet, along with “frustration” that Labour’s Brexit policy is not “more distinct” from the Government’s.
Perhaps Mr Umunna should research those concerns. It would be interesting to see if he found the same problems as some of those who have most stridently voiced them.
“We outperformed expectations at the general election last year, but the fact of the matter is that Labour didn’t win the general election,” he said.
“You would expect after eight years of Tory government and in the wake of the resignations of several senior ministers… Labour to be making far greater gains.
Not necessarily. The seats contested on May 3 were last up for election in 2014, when Labour won a historically high number of them. It does not follow that Labour would necessarily win a huge number more – although in fact the difference between the number Labour won and those the Tories lost was 100, and that’s a pretty hefty difference.
“Either we can pat ourselves on the back and celebrate not winning as a victory, or we focus ruthlessly on how we can make sure that we advance social democratic values and build a fairer, more equal Britain by winning the next general election.”
Mr Umunna is, of course, a member of the Labour Right. For them, not winning is a way of life now.
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