Tony Blair states that “Nothing less than the rebirth direct renewal will do” for Labor, as members decide who will be the next party leader.
The former prime minister – who led Labor from 1994 to 2007 – warned the party that he had the “government mentality” and “redefine what radical means” in a speech to mark 120th anniversary of the founding of the Labor Party.
Members will vote on who will shape the future of the party with Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy fighting to take over from Jeremy Corbyn as a Labor leader. The result of the competition will be announced on April 4th.
Blair said Labor had always won when he expanded British politics, secured central ground and looked to the future, adding, “and yet, despite that, of course, of course, it’s true, we have shown an extraordinary attachment to retreat in a narrow part of the left that always ended in defeat. “
He said: “[W]the work that Labor represents in terms of values has been magnificent; his achievements in government are enormous, but as a political competitor he has been too often a failure. “
The speech was made the same day Nandy ignored Blair’s name when asked to list who were the best leaders of the past in ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Nandy claimed that the New Labor years were “revolutionary”, but Blair had “wrong things” during his decade in Downing Street.
Driven by the reason he didn’t choose Blair, Nandy said, “I’d like to see more radicals. So I think the evaluation of the time spent by Tony Blair in charge is that he changed the game, it was important, but to earn the right to have an audience audition on the things we have done, we must also be honest the things we have done wrong. “
Other leadership contenders have been questioned about Blair. Earlier this month Rebecca Long-Bailey said she admired Blair’s attention to education, adding that her government had left a legacy of “aspiration and results”, while Starmer said he would not “sweep it.” via “the Labor governments of Blair or Gordon Brown.
In his central London speech, Blair argued that Labor must engage with the 21st century technological revolution that “would change everything and therefore everything should change, including the radical reorientation of the government.” He also called for “a new progressive coalition to put the values of work into practice”.
In an open arc to his speech, Blair reflected that his advice was “not particularly welcome” to today’s Labor party. He added: “But then it occurred to me that there are only two people born in the past 120 years who have actually won an election for the job. And unfortunately Harold Wilson has long since disappeared.
“[Labour] he was elected only once for two consecutive terms; only once for three, and both as New Labor, a period that most of today’s party wants to deny. “