Caroline Flint: Labour leadership candidates have ‘a lot to prove’

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Labour’s Caroline Flint has said the candidates vying to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader must reach out to the public, not just the party membership, to be successful.

The former MP, who lost her Don Valley seat in the December general election, told talkRADIO that she will be judging hopefuls on whether they can win the country, not just the contest.

“I think all the runners and riders have still got a lot to prove,” she told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

“Are they just dipping into where they think they can rack up the largest number of votes among members?

“Or are they actually seeking to do what we need from the leader of the opposition, which is reaching out to the country.”

Four candidates remain in the race to head up the opposition party: shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, backbencher Lisa Nandy and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.

Ms Flint also said she wanted to hear some “contrition” over aspects she believed led to Labour’s devastating general election defeat, including the party’s Brexit strategy and Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

While Sir Keir and Ms Long-Bailey appear to be the current frontrunners, Ms Flint said they were going to have to do “a lot more” in order to win her vote.

However, she hinted that her support may be leaning toward Ms Nandy, saying the Wigan MP had said “more in terms of reaching out to voters” in the areas that Labour needs to win back.

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