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Listen: Diane Abbott calls for Labour to embrace free movement

(Photo: Getty)

Left-wing figures are picking over the carcass of the Labour party this morning, after the party performed poorly in Hartlepool and in the local elections across the north and Midlands of England. With the Labour candidate for Hartlepool admitting this morning that he doesn’t know what Labour stands for, a fight is now on to define where Labour goes next.

Happily, the left of the party have come up with their solution to Labour’s woes: for Keir Starmer to re-embrace the ten pledges he made when fighting to be elected as Labour leader, which broadly mirrored Jeremy Corbyn’s policy platform. The left fear that the pledges, which include common ownership and ‘social justice’, have since been abandoned by the Labour leader.

It was former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott who set out the clearest case for Starmer re-adopting the ten pledges, when she appeared on the Today programme this morning. In the interview, she suggested that this should have been Starmer’s starting point, and the pledges were the best way for Labour to become credible again.

That said, Mr S isn’t exactly convinced that one of the pledges, defending free movement even after we leave the EU, is the key to recovering Hartlepool and winning back other seats in the Red Wall. Or of the wisdom of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, which recently led the party to its worst defeat since 1935, advising Labour on the key to electoral success…

Listen here:

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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