Tristram Hunt: Labour risks becoming a pressure group under Corbyn

Posted On: 
22nd July 2015

Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt has issued a stark warning to Labour colleagues that the party risks becoming a "pressure group" if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader.

A YouGov poll last night gave the veteran left-winger a sizeable lead in the first round of voting and a slight lead over Andy Burnham in the crucial final round. 

Mr Hunt said people were "sceptical" about polls following the general election, but admitted that there was "enthusiasm" for Mr Corbyn among party members. 

Speaking about the prospect of a Corbyn victory, he told the Today programme: "I think the danger is that the Labour party, one of the great governing parties of the 20th and early 21st century, that did enormously important things for Britain and Britain in the world, would be on a trajectory to becoming a pressure group, would not have that broad reach into all parts of the United Kingdom." 

Mr Hunt also warned Mr Corbyn's supporters that by "overindulging" themselves they risked making things worse for vulnerable people.

"There are many people in the Labour party who can cope with the effects of another Tory government but there are many people in our communities who will be hit really hard by the assault on working tax credits, by taking away maintenance grants for poorer students to go to university and we can’t overindulge ourselves," he said.

"Our job is to represent those people, to look like a viable opposition and a prospective government and I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn’s politics or economics will be able to deliver that for us."