General Election 2019: Labour MP Wes Streeting condemns Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as he holds Ilford North
PUBLISHED: 11:49 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 13 December 2019
Ilford North’s re-elected MP Wes Streeting said “change can’t come soon enough” to the Labour Party as he used his victorious election address to lambast the party’s leadership for its worst nationwide result in more than 80 years.
Mr Streeting was returned with 25,323 votes, seeing off Conservative challenger Howard Berlin who earned himself 20,105 supporters.
Delivering his election address, Mr Streeting told the crowds: "Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour Party to this defeat.
"Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet led the Labour Party to this defeat.
"Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto led the Labour Party to this defeat.
"Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit policy led the Labour Party to this defeat.
"And, having sacked so many decent people, experienced people, Jeremy Corbyn's headquarters led the Labour Party to this defeat.
"His leadership, his shadow cabinet, his manifesto, his Brexit policy.
"Change can't come soon enough.
"We need to rid the Labour Party of this world view, this economics that offers false hope where people need real solutions, and the terrible stain of antisemitism that has seen people in my own constituency, lifelong Labour voters, weeping tears because they couldn't vote for Labour at this election, for the first time in their lives.
"It should shame us all."
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Mr Streeting went on to question the conduct of the Labour leadership over their suspension of Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal.
Cllr Athwal had been one of the favourites to secure the party's selection for Ilford South only to be barred from the selection process when he was suspended on the eve of the vote in October over what the Party HQ described as "serious allegations".
Cllr Athwal has always maintained the allegations, which he says were made against him in August, are untrue, and his supporters have since questioned the timing of his suspension.
Labour Party HQ refuses to comment on individual cases, but has claimed the disciplinary process was anonymised.
Last night, Mr Streeting said: "It is an injustice that will not go unchallenged."
He added: "Losing is not radical, and it is in danger of becoming the new norm for the Labour Party."
He concluded his speech by pledging himself to "a new centre-left politics that delivers change we can believe in".
On a disastrous night for the party, which saw a string of Labour strongholds fall to the Tories, Mr Corbyn said he would not be leading the party into the next general election.
But speaking following the count in his Islington North constituency, he said he intended to take it through a "process of reflection" while they considered the way forward.
"I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward," he said.
"And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future."
He was rounded on, however, by a number of angry Labour MPs and defeated candidates who said his leadership was to blame for their catastrophic showing and called on him to go.