A FORMER Labour Minister fears her party is “out of touch” which has “lost connection” with the public.
Respected senior party figure Dame Margaret Hodge concedes their true supporters have been “taken for granted” for decades.
She says the party focuses on issues like “feminism, transsexuals and neo-capitalism” that doesn’t touch the lives of ordinary people.
Hodge, who served under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, delivered her stinging verdict on the eve of the annual party conference. The move will be seen as a wake-up call for party leader Sir Keir Starmer who was elected to the position in April.
She said: “Life for them, it feels as if life is rigged against them. And the Labour Party, and the Labour politicians, have not had anything to say to that and are out of touch.”
The legacy of Jeremy Corbyn has left them being seen as “a nasty party, riddled with anti-Semitism couldn’t even command a seat at the table”.
She even told the ex-Labour to his face that he was an “anti-Semite and racist” and even faced a fight to be re-selected to boot her out of her east London constituency seat. Her Labour colleague Harriet Harman said last year she was “dismayed” by the trigger vote.
Her long-standing colleague said she was the “scourge of tax avoiders and anti-Semitism. Champion of progressive policies. Hyperactive local MP. Surely this cannot stand!”
Hodge, chair of the influential Public Accounts Committee, said the party looks down at working class voters – causing huge problems in the Midlands and the north.
Boris Johnson won his landslide majority of 80 seats at the general election by winning traditional Labour seats along the ‘Red Wall’.
She said: “It’s that too many of our voters, and especially our traditional working class voters, reject us because they see us as assuming that Labour has the divine right to its moral high ground. We define it. We preach it.
“We expect people to follow it, and expect people to support us, and if and when they don’t, and if and when they don’t vote Labour, we judge them, we denigrate their views, we look down on them.”
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“Labour’s leader may have changed but with Sir Keir Starmer they still offer the same tired and out of touch Labour politics as Jeremy Corbyn.”
Dame Margaret last night said the party must still tackle issues such as feminism but they must “frame” the argument differently.
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