The shadow chancellor John McDonnell has claimed that Labour ‘won the argument’ in this election campaign, but lost as a result of not being able to get through on Brexit.
Confronted by reporters as he left his home the morning after voters went to the ballot, McDonnell said: “Brexit dominated the whole debate, and we couldn’t break through on other issues. So I think it was Brexit.
“If you look at what’s happened in most of the seats, particularly in the northern seats, the vote shifts have been from Labour to the Brexit Party rather than the Tories.”
McDonnell went on to explain he believes Labour ‘won the argument’ on key policy issues.
“We just couldn’t get through the Brexit argument, basically. I don’t think [Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership] played a role. I think on the policy issues we won the argument, but we literally couldn’t break through Brexit,” he said.
McDonnell and Corbyn both held onto their seats, but the future of the Labour party looks uncertain as Corbyn resigns as leader and McDonnell confirmed he will not be the party’s new leader.
WATCH: Mark Francois asked if he has ‘gone crazy’ after comparing result to ‘fall of Berlin Wall’WATCH: Alastair Campbell blames Labour’s failure to confront Brexit for Tory majorityMcDonnell added: “There will be further announcements – as Jeremy has said, he won’t leave the party until the next election, and so therefore at some stage we will go into a leadership election.
“Jeremy wants to ensure there is a period of reflection and that’s what we will do. We need to examine the details of the result, listen to people, listen to members of the public and our party’s members, and see how we can learn these lessons.”
McDonnell added that the future of the party may look bleak at the moment, “but actually, I think we’ll learn from this and build upon this and this new generation is incredibly talented.”