Tony Blair, the Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007 and party leader from 1994 to 2007, has warned Labour members against voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the party’s leadership elections.
Blair wrote in the Guardian:
“If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation. If he wins the leadership, the public will at first be amused, bemused and even intrigued. But as the years roll on, as Tory policies bite and the need for an effective opposition mounts – and oppositions are only effective if they stand a hope of winning – the public mood will turn to anger. They will seek to punish us. They will see themselves as victims not only of the Tory government but of our self-indulgence”.
Corbyn’s team responded to the comments by saying:
“We are keeping our campaign positive and remain focused on our policies that offer the sound economic choice of investment and growth, not the politically driven agenda of austerity and cuts preventing economic recovery”.
Other senior figures in the Labour Party are also expected to express their concerns about Corbyn’s leadership over the next few weeks. The voting will take place from 14 August to 10 September with the winner being announced on 12 September 2015.