Chris Williamson tells Dan Wootton: ‘Labour has never been more united' as Tony Blair criticises Corbyn era

Chris Williamson tells Dan Wootton: ‘Labour has never been more united' as Tony Blair criticises Corbyn era

Friday, September 7, 2018

Chris Williamson has told Dan Wootton that the Labour party are the “new moderates” after former leader Tony Blair attacked Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The MP came to the defence of Mr Corbyn after the former Prime Minister said that Labour had become a “different party” under the current stewardship.

Blair questioned whether the party could be “taken back” by moderates.

Talking to Dan Wootton on talkRADIO, Williamson said: “Beyond the Westminster bubble, Labour has never been more united.

"Yes, there are some dissenting voices in that Westminster village who have been kicking off and getting a lot of headlines, but to be honest with you, they’re completely out of touch with reality.

My message to people like Tony Blair is, I wasn't his greatest supporter when he was elected, and I worked hard to elect a Labour government."

 

Tony Blair's ideology 'Thatcherite'

You cannot sit there with a straight face and say Labour is a united party. There is a civil war going on," challenged Wootton. "You have to acknowledge this. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have both been heavily critical of the current regime - this is not a united party."

"There are a handful of individuals... but they're out of step. They do not represent the party," argued Williamson. 

He added: “People have fallen out of love with that sort of approach that Tony Blair was talking about... I’m afraid to say that Tony, when he led the Labour party, effectively accepted the sort of Thatcherite ideology. We squandered a huge majority in the House of Commons, we could’ve transformed our economy and society in a way that would’ve ensured that we could’ve addressed the housing crisis which is affecting millions of people today.”  

 

Rumours of new 'centrist' party

Williamson accused Blair of attempting to “sabotage” Labour's campaign at the last election.

“Under Jeremy Corbyn at the last election we had the worst possible run in with the likes of Tony Blair and the others trying to sabotage our efforts to win that election,” he said.

“We had the biggest increase in votes since 1945, we secured more votes than Tony Blair achieved in all but one election in 1997."

Rumours are rife within Westminster of a new centrist party forming, with former ‘Blairites’ breaking away from Labour to create a more ‘mainstream’ party.

Williamson rubbished these rumours.

“We are the centrist, and we are effectively the new moderates,” he said.

“If you look at the opinion polls, and look at the policies we are putting forward now, they are supported by 70 – 80 per cent of the public.

“Whether it will be tuition fees, bringing the railways back into public ownerships, tax evasion, creating decent secure jobs, these are things that the overwhelming majority of the British public want to see.”

 

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