Angela Eagle, the former Shadow Business Secretary, has confirmed that she intends to stand against Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, for the party’s leadership.
Eagle said about Corbyn:
“He doesn’t connect with Labour voters, he doesn’t connect enough to win an election and he doesn’t reach out in any meaningful way to other parts of the party. He’s lost the confidence of his parliamentary colleagues and I really think now the time is for him to consider his position”.
“I believe I can provide that leadership, and I know I can unify our party in the process too. I’m no Blairite, Brownite or Corbynista. What I am is my own woman, someone rooted in our party, and someone who knows how much a force for good Labour has been in office and can be in the future.
But if we are to succeed, we need to concentrate on the politics of hope, not on grievance and blame. That’s the only way we can deliver on our principles of equality, social justice and social mobility.
That’s my practical socialism, and that’s the sort of socialism that has helped us deliver in government, from the NHS to the minimum wage to cutting child poverty. Real change comes from translating our values into policies that can win popular support.
What’s been so extraordinary about Jeremy is that after taking the leadership he has done so little with it. He has not brought forward practical policies to deal with the problems Britain faces. Instead he harks back to a 1983 manifesto that almost saw us annihilated.
We need practical socialist policies for today, to heal the divisions and address the uncertainties created by the referendum. The leave vote – often strongest in traditional Labour areas – was a message from millions who felt no one had listened to them for a long time”.
When asked by Andrew Marr about his thoughts on Eagle’s decision, Jeremy Corbyn said:
“I would ask her to think for a moment – this is the opportunity of the party to unite against what the Tories are doing to put forward an agenda that is different from the austerity agenda put forward by the Tories and gain a lot of ground”.