Election 2019: we need to win back working class areas that have lost faith in Labour

Jon Trickett's speech at his Hemsworth constituency count


To the returning officer and all her staff, we give our thanks. Without each one of you our democracy wouldn't work. Clearly this election result is a disappointment. I fear for the future of our country under Boris Johnson. Now more than ever we need a fighting Labour Party campaigning for a decent country. Our opposition to the Tories was based firmly on the certainty that their values do not represent the whole country’s. But there is also much to learn from the result. On Brexit, we faced difficult choices. But we were not helped by colleagues who attempted to lever us into becoming a remain party in spite of the fact that millions had voted to leave. We should have respected the referendum result and delivered a vision for a socialist transition out of the European Union. On the question of leadership, let me say this: Jeremy Corbyn is a most remarkable man. He has been severely and unjustly attacked simply because he is a radical who threatened the golden elite which rules Britain. Our defeat must not be used to justify going back to a Labour Party which too often looked as if it was comfortable with a system which does not work for so many people. I give my heartfelt thanks to all those voters in the red villages of Hemsworth constituency for the support they have given me over 8 elections. Too many people in the country work hard, play by the rules but are screwed by a system which does not work for them. Let’s be clear, the Party often appears to have stretched our relationship with working class communities across the North and elsewhere to breaking point. This process began in the New Labour years but Brexit has made it more difficult. It was here in the North and above all in the West Riding of Yorkshire - where I have spent all my life - that many of the original roots of the labour movement were nurtured. And it is here that the fightback must begin. For more than a century our people stood by the Labour Party but let's be honest their confidence in us has been shaken. It is time that our party returned to its roots as a movement deeply embedded in working communities everywhere. I will have more to say about this. For the moment I thank everyone who has participated in this campaign. The fightback starts now. We will redouble our efforts in the struggle for social justice, and for socialism in this land.

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