Tuesday , April 20 2021

David Blunkett says he 'despairs' about Labor and antisemitism – The Guardian, Theguardian.com

Labor peer also strongly critical about Jeremy Corbyn and ‘thuggery’ in the party

David Blunkett in 2010

David Blunkett in 2010 at the Labor party conference. Photograph: Oli Scarff / Getty Images

The former home secretaryDavid Blunketthas said the “antisemitism” and “thuggery” within Labor makes him despair, compounding a difficult few days for the party.

Lord Blunkett, who was an MP for 28 years before becoming a Labor peer, said the likelihood of (Jeremy Corbyn) winning a majority was “extraordinarily slim”.

But he urged moderates within the party to “stay and fight” to ensure the “voice of reason” prevailed,following deputy leader Tom Watson’s decision to stand down.

The former cabinet minister’s comments came after two of its former MPs urged voters to back the Tories instead. Ian Austin and John Woodcock saidthey would be supporting the Conservativesas they did not believe Corbyn was fit to be in No 10.

And on Friday, Dame Margaret Hodge – one of the most prominent Jewish figures in (Labor) – declined to endorse the opposition leader as prime minister.

Writing in the Telegraph, Blunkett said: “The behavior of the hard left within the Labor party – the antisemitism, the thuggery, the irrational views on security and international issues, and the lack of realization that you have to embrace a big tent of people in order to win – certainly makes me despair. ******

“But it also makes the likelihood of an all-out Labor majority in this general election extraordinarily slim. The political landscape right now is completely different to what the hard-left would have you believe.

“We are in a 1983 situation here, not a 2017 one – with not only the Lib Dems and the Greens, but the Brexit party, the Tories and the SNP all seriously vying for traditional Labor votes. ”

The Conservative party under Margaret Thatcher secured a sizeable majority at the 1983 election after votes for the opposition were split between Labor and the Liberal / SDP alliance.

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