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Labour should not abandon socialist policies, Richard Burgon urges

LABOUR must not abandon its socialist policies after its general election defeat, Richard Burgon cautioned today.

Writing in Tribune Magazine, shadow justice secretary Mr Burgon warned that it is a mistake “to focus blame” for Labour’s election defeat on its socialist manifesto.

He said: “A weakening of Labour’s popular commitments to ending austerity, returning rail, mail and water to public ownership and a more interventionist role for the state would not win more votes.”

Mr Burgon’s comments came as Labour grandee Lord Hattersley urged the party not to allow shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Writing in the Observer, Mr Hattersley said Labour was “already preparing for its next defeat” if it allowed left-winger Ms Long Bailey to succeed Mr Corbyn.

He said her victory would act as a public statement that “Corbyn has gone but Corbynism lives on.”

But Mr Burgon argued: “In 2017 we won 3.5 million extra votes, making huge strides in winning back the five million votes lost between 1997 and 2010 after backing war and proposing austerity.

“Given that we had the same leader in Jeremy Corbyn and a similar manifesto to 2017, I think it is mistaken to focus blame there.”

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