Tony Blair complains that Corbyn doesn’t WANT to win

30 Apr

Tony Blair accused Jeremy Corbyn today of not wanting to win power – as he complained that Labour has been obsessed with ‘trashing’ his record.

The former PM made clear his disdain for the ‘hard left’ platform the party has adopted as he warned it can only form a majority government by returning to the centre ground.

He said the party had to ‘decide’ that it wants to become a realistic electoral force.

The comments came in an interview to mark 20 years since his landslide election victory in 1997. 

The former PM has used an interview today to make clear his disdain for the 'hard left' platform the party has adopted under Jeremy Corbyn

The former PM has used an interview today to make clear his disdain for the 'hard left' platform the party has adopted under Jeremy Corbyn

The former PM has used an interview today to make clear his disdain for the ‘hard left’ platform the party has adopted under Jeremy Corbyn

The huge turnaround in fortunes since then is underlined by polls today showing Labour trailing up to 17 points behind the Tories.

That would translate to a massive Commons majority of more than 140 for Theresa May after the snap election on June 8.  

Mr Blair suggested the emergence in France of Emmanuel Macron – topping the first round presidential ballot barely a year after launching a new centre-left political movement – should inspire Labour.

‘I know him and I like him. He’s a very smart, capable guy,’ Mr Blair told the Observer.

‘The broad lesson is the centre ground is still strong and if you provide people with a progressive centre-ground alternative they’ll vote for it.’

BLAIR: I’M NOT AS RICH AS YOU THINK

Tony Blair again insisted today that rumours he is worth between £30million and £50million are wide of the mark.

He said the real amount was “a lot less”, and he had given £10million to his charitable foundation.

Mr Blair said most of his fortune was in ‘very nice’ homes in London and the countryside, but there were mortgages attached to both.

‘The equity in those is the bulk of my wealth. I have given away more than I am worth,’ he added.

In a clear dig at the inward-facing approach of Mr Corbyn, Mr Blair said: ‘One of the remarks that really made an impact on me in the 1980s was when Michael Heseltine was asked whether Labour would win again. 

‘And he said: ‘Labour will win when it wants to.’ And I thought at the time that was a very profound remark because the Labour party can win at any point in time it wants to get back to winning ways.  

‘It’s just got to make a decision that it’s going to do it.’

Mr Blair, who secure a majority of 179 for New Labour two decades ago and went on to win two more elections, put his success then down to attracting ‘modern minded’ people who wanted ‘social justice’.  

‘Where you’ve got a hard Brexit Tory party and a hard left Labour party, you will find a lot of homeless people,’ he said.  

‘If from the progressive side of politics you offer people a vision that looks like the past, then I’m afraid you’ll lose that group of people in the middle who would be prepared to go for you provided they felt you understood the modern world.’

Mr Corbyn (pictured at a campaign event in London yesterday) is struggling to avert a complete catastrophe for Labour on June 8, with polls showing the party is trailing the Tories by a huge margin

Mr Corbyn (pictured at a campaign event in London yesterday) is struggling to avert a complete catastrophe for Labour on June 8, with polls showing the party is trailing the Tories by a huge margin

Mr Corbyn (pictured at a campaign event in London yesterday) is struggling to avert a complete catastrophe for Labour on June 8, with polls showing the party is trailing the Tories by a huge margin

Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, the PM urged voters to consider the 'national interest' when they decide whether she or Jeremy Corbyn should be in charge after June 8

Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, the PM urged voters to consider the 'national interest' when they decide whether she or Jeremy Corbyn should be in charge after June 8

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, the PM urged voters to consider the ‘national interest’ when they decide whether she or Jeremy Corbyn should be in charge after June 8

Voicing his frustration with the way Mr Corbyn and his supporters denigrate Labour’s achievements in government, Mr Blair said: ‘The Conservatives are so much better at defending their own history.

‘The Labour party has spent a large part of its time trashing its own record. 

PRESCOTT: BLAIR COULD BE KICKED OUT OF LABOUR PARTY

Lord Prescott has suggested Tony Blair could be expelled from Labour for hinting at support for other parties. 

The former PM has said curbing Brexit is the priority in the election.

He said that ‘may mean’ backing the Liberal Democrats in some areas – while insisting he was not advocating tactical voting.

In his Sunday Mirror column, Lord Prescott questioned whether the comments were compatible with the terms of Labour party membership.

‘When Tony was leader, we expelled people for advocating voting for other parties. I can’t see what he is doing is any different,’ he said.  

The Labour peer compared the former PM to a ‘faded striker shouting from the sidelines’.

‘I find it weird, the acceptance that somehow the financial crisis was the product of a Labour government. 

‘Which is completely bizarre – it was a global financial crisis that started in the sub-prime mortgage market in Florida. 

‘And then, in a much bigger way, saying New Labour basically deserted our principles … 

‘The very reason for modernising the Labour party was to make it capable of answering the challenges of the new world and a changing society. 

‘We retreated at first slowly and then with ever greater pace from that essential notion. 

‘People began to see the process of modernising as a betrayal of principle.’ 

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times today gives the Tories a 13 point lead over Labour, on 44 per cent to 31 per cent for Mr Corbyn’s party.

The advantage had narrowed slightly from 16 points.

Meanwhile, Opinium research for the Observer found the Conservatives 17 points ahead by 47 per cent to 30 per cent.

Grilled on his wealth, Mr Blair again insisted that rumours he is worth between £30million and £50million are wide of the mark.

He said the real amount was “a lot less”, and he had given £10million to his charitable foundation.

Mr Blair said most of his fortune was in ‘very nice’ homes in London and the countryside, but said there were ‘significant’ mortgages attached to both.

‘The equity in those is the bulk of my wealth. I have given away more than I am worth,’ he added.

Theresa May, pictured arriving for an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, is on track for a massive majority on June 8

Theresa May, pictured arriving for an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show today, is on track for a massive majority on June 8

Theresa May, pictured arriving for an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show today, is on track for a massive majority on June 8

Ex-Labour donor pledges to stand AGAINST Corbyn saying he’s leading party to disaster

Michael Foster said Labour is facing 'annihilation' on June 8

Michael Foster said Labour is facing 'annihilation' on June 8

Michael Foster said Labour is facing ‘annihilation’ on June 8

A prominent Labour donor has pledged to stand against Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election if he does not stand down.

Michael Foster said Labour is facing ‘annihilation’ on June 8 because the ‘blinkered’ leader lacks the attributes required to win.

The challenger also levelled a startling accusation that supporting Mr Corbyn’s leadership ‘means supporting a political strategy that kills people’ – linking Tory dominance to longer waiting times for heart operations.

Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Foster said: ‘There are a lot of things a political party looks for in a leader. Jeremy Corbyn possesses none of them. Because of him, Labour faces annihilation at the polls.’

The agent, who was suspended by the party after launching a legal bid to oust Mr Corbyn, said the results of the looming local elections should decide his fate.

Issuing an ultimatum, he said: ‘If the results are as bad as predicted, then Jeremy should stand down voluntarily and let someone else lead the fight in June.

‘If he does not – and I don’t believe he ever would – I would be very happy to fight him and his fellow travellers on the extreme left of the party by standing in his constituency of Islington North.’

Mr Corbyn has been MP for the north London constituency since 1983 and goes into the upcoming General Election with a majority of more than 20,000.

Experts have predicted Labour will suffer heavy losses across the country in Thursday’s council elections, while a study published on Sunday has warned it ‘seems unlikely’ the party will retain any authorities at all in Scotland.

The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats are expected to make significant gains in England and Wales, while north of the border the Scottish National Party and Tories will reap the benefits of strong opinion polls.

Mr Foster said the Tories stand to benefit from Mr Corbyn’s ‘incoherence, weakness and lack of leadership’, accusing him of underestimating the support for Brexit among Labour’s traditional voters.

Even in the event of an electoral ‘disaster’, Mr Corbyn would not stand down, relying instead on the support of the party membership to fend off a vote of no confidence, Mr Foster predicted.

‘Jeremy’s activist supporters will ensure this blinkered, ineffective leader is immediately elected again,’ he said.

 

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