Shabana Mahmood MP Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
Labour Party members and supporters had millions of conversations with the public this election. We were out on the doorstep in the cold, leafleting, phonebanking, tweeting, sharing, fundraising and we did everything we could to get a Labour Government.. and it wasn’t enough.
It’s a hard thing to reconcile ourselves to this defeat and it’s harder to try to understand it. There’s going to be a lot of talk in the media, from the commentators and the pundits about why we lost, but we as a movement need to understand this together. Our starting point for a Labour recovery can’t be to pick the things we like and blame the things we don’t. Some want to say our defeat was all about Jeremy Corbyn; others that it was only Brexit. Both are wrong. Our losses were about both and much, much more.
We must now undertake a real, meaningful review with everything on the table, and no no-go areas. It must start from a place of humility which acknowledges Labour got it wrong rather than the voters, with a process that involves the whole of our movement, and those who feel we’ve left them behind. There’s no quick fix. Until we collectively go through this reconciliation and contrition together, we can’t start the long road back to winning elections again.
To win again we need to understand what worked and what didn’t. Some of the questions will be about the country and Labour’s ability to win over the public, while others will be about our movement and how we organise.