Tony Blair has criticised the Labour Party for going into the general election with a ‘strategy for defeat’.

In a speech in central London, the former Labour party leader said the party was ‘marooned on fantasy island’.

He told the audience: ‘I believe with different leadership we would have kept much of our vote in traditional Labour areas.’

Mr Blair also went on to say that this was ‘no ordinary defeat for Labour’ calling it a ‘cardinal error’ to agree to a Brexit general election.

He said: ‘The result has brought shame on us. We let our country down.’

Mr Blair, who won three general elections for the party, said its most recent performance at such a crucial time in British politics was ‘unforgivable’.

He said the party’s challenge was to become a ‘modern progressive coalition’ with the ability to win and hold power or admit it had ‘exhausted its original mission’.

He warned that there was no easy route back to power for the party.

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Mr Blair said: ‘Unfortunately, 2019 is much worse than 1983: Then was our second defeat; now is our fourth.

‘The country is different, politics is different. The country is less fixed in political affiliation and politics moves at speed, accelerated by social media.

‘We don’t have the luxury of a slow march back.’

On the general election campaign itself, Mr Blair said it was not about Mr Corbyn as a person, but people saw him as ‘fundamentally opposing what Britain and Western countries stand for’.

He went on to offer a scathing assessment of the Labour party’s leadership, saying that Jeremy Corbyn’s comic indecision had left voters ‘without guidance or leadership’.

Mr Blair labelled the Labour leader’s ideology as ‘quasi-revolutionary socialism’, which will ‘never appeal to traditional Labour voters’.

It comes as the Shadow Brexit Secretary and leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer warned the party not to ‘oversteer’ away from the left wing politics of Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of the party’s crushing general election defeat.

Sir Keir, who confirmed he is ‘seriously considering’ a run for the leadership, said Mr Corbyn had been right to make Labour an ‘anti-austerity’ party.

In a clear attempt to distance himself from the legacy of Tony Blair, he said the party could not afford to go back to ‘some bygone age’.