Jon Trickett says Labour must 'never again' be led by ‘narrow cultural circle’

Posted On: 
15th December 2019

A senior Labour figure has said that the party's next leader should be from outside London and the outfit must “never again” be run by a "narrow cultural circle".

Jon Trickett is a long time ally of outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In a thinly-veiled swipe at both Mr Corbyn and two of his potential successors, Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said the next leader could not spend their time "patronising" voters.

The comments come after Jeremy Corbyn announced he would step down as leader of the Labour party in the new year following the party’s crushing election defeat.

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Thoughts have already turned to who might replace Mr Corbyn with Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry among the frontrunners.

Both Mr Starmer and Ms Thornberry are London based MPs, with constituencies bordering Mr Corbyn’s.

But, speaking to The Sunday Times, long-time Corbyn ally Mr Trickett said it was time for the party to find a new kind of leader.

He said: “The party needs to look further afield than a handful of seats in central and north London and find a leader who represents the people we have sorely failed to speak to in recent years.

“People who work hard and are perhaps not well off, but play by the rules and live decent lives, need to feel at the core of Labour’s vision.

“A key test of any new leader is if he or she can speak to them without patronising them.”

Mr Trickett also took aim at the team around Mr Corbyn for Labour's massive loses in Thursday’s election.

He added: “Never again must the bulk of our senior decision-makers and advisers be drawn from a narrow cultural circle, such as the more prosperous parts of London.”

His comments come after Labour lost dozens of seats – some of which had been held for almost a century – to the Conservatives on Thursday.

Birmingham-based MP Jess Phillips, who is also expected to run for Labour, also echoed the need for a new approach.

Speaking to BirminghamLive, she said: "We are going to have to do a shedload of work and listening and acting and learning - and it sounds so trite when I reel that off, but the Labour Party has been going wrong now for four elections.

"The party needs to rebuild the coalition that has always existed when we were in power."

Others expected to run include Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rainer and Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey.