Labour must back a deputy leader who supports internationalism over nationalism

A series of flags representing different countries alongside the European flag. Photograph: Trecosa

A series of flags representing different countries alongside the European flag. Photograph: Trecosa ( - Credit: Archant

Leading second Brexit referendum campaigner and MP PETER KYLE on why he's backing Ian Murray for deputy leader of the Labour Party.

Solidarity and internationalism are in Labour's DNA.

That's why every Labour government has championed the Union, fighting for communities in every nation and region of the UK.

Unlike Nationalists, we don't believe in building barriers between people. We believe in healthy patriotism not nationalism.

That same principle is why we must also be a proud pro-European party, despite the looming threat of Brexit.

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I worked tirelessly to give the people of Britain a 'final say' on Brexit through a confirmatory referendum, with my so-called Kyle-Wilson amendment just 12 votes short of securing a parliamentary majority.

At every step of the way, Ian Murray was by my side passionately making the case.

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He was a key voice in the People's Vote campaign, advocating Labour's manifesto position long before it was finally adopted.

His passion for Labour's values is why I am backing him to be our deputy leader.

I know he will never give up fighting against Boris Johnson's hard Brexit, and I know he will never give in to narrow-minded nationalism.

But, most importantly, he knows how to fight and win.

We lost many good MPs in the general election catastrophe, including every Labour MP in Scotland - except Ian.

He defied the odds to beat the populist nationalism of Nicola Sturgeon's SNP and Boris Johnson's Tories in Edinburgh South; a seat which only a few years ago was a marginal constituency.

We need his experience of building broad coalitions of voters, so that at the next election we are gaining seats not only in Scotland, but in Wales and England also.

The process of rebuilding the Labour Party starts with an acceptance that we did not 'win the arguments' last year. Ian understands that, which is why he is looking to the future, not the past. Wanting to change the party to win again.

He is asking questions and seeking answers about automation and an ageing population, not waging the battles of the 1970s.

He has rightly said our party is at a dangerous crossroads. The choice, as he puts it, is whether we become a credible alternative government or a party of perpetual opposition. We must choose the former.

I am confident that Ian is the person to transform Labour into an election-winning machine once again.

If we want someone with the experience and background who is a fighter and a winner, with labour values at heart, then we all must support Ian for deputy leader.

- Peter Kyle is the Labour MP for Hove

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