Labour MP: ‘I have no idea why we went forward with the election’

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Labour MP Chris Bryant has said backing Boris Johnson’s motion to call a December 12 general election was a “strategic error” by the party.

The opposition suffered a catastrophic loss of 59 seats, taking its number of MPs down to 203 in its worst general election result since 1935.

Jeremy Corbyn has apologised to furious Labour MPs – many of whom blame his leadership for the defeat – telling them: “I am very sorry for the result for which I take responsibility.”

However, Mr Bryant told talkRADIO that the party should never have allowed the pre-Christmas poll to go ahead in the first place.

“We, the Labour Party, made a strategic error in voting for this general election at this time, before Brexit was in any way sorted.

“We had the government on the ropes in terms of the numbers in the House of Commons - we could have pursued our own policy quite effectively.

"The government didn’t have the numbers, and I have no idea why we went forward with the election,” he told Mike Graham.

The MP for Rhondda added that he and other members were wrong to quit the shadow cabinet in 2016 because it “gave the impression” of an “utterly divided party.”

Mr Bryant also cited the “incredible” promises of the Labour manifesto as a reason for its defeat, saying “I think you win elections by being credible”.

The next step for the party will be to elect a new leader in January, after Mr Corbyn announced that he would step down.

Mr Bryant said he is considering running for deputy, telling Mike he would be happy to be carry out the role with “whoever is elected as leader”.

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