Caroline Flint blames ‘ardent Remainers’ for Labour’s loss in general election

PUBLISHED: 10:24 15 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 15 December 2019

Caroline Flint speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday. Picture: Sky

Caroline Flint speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday. Picture: Sky

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A former Labour minister said Jeremy Corbyn had not taken enough responsibility for the party’s defeat and called on party members to elect a new leader who hadn’t had a hand in the party’s Brexit campaign.

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Caroline Flint, who lost her seat in Don Valley in the general election, replied "no" when asked if Jeremy Corbyn was taking enough personal responsibility for the party's defeat.

Speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Flint said the party had fought on two different fronts.

She said: "Nearly on every doorstep Jeremy Corbyn came up as a negative.

"People didn't trust him and people didn't believe him. People from families in the armed forces were worried about him and they didn't see him as prime minister.

"But we were also fighting on another front - Brexit."

The former MP added that the Labour Party hadn't heeded the warnings in the 2017 election when they lost seats in places like Mansfield.

She criticised "ardent Remainers" within the party - naming Sir Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry, Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper - for having "contributed to sacrificing 59 seats".

"It breaks my heart to see what happened," said Flint.

"I'm emotional. I'm trying to stem my anger in all of this.

"I know a number of people like Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry contributed to the sacrificing of 59 seats.

"People said don't worry, we've got Putney and Canterbury, but I don't believe that was worth it."

Speaking about who she would want to take over as Labour leader when Corbyn resigns, Flint suggested Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey.

She added: "I don't think it should be anybody who has had a hand in our Brexit strategy over the last few years, and I don't think it can be Corbyn without a beard, I think that would be the wrong move as well.

"I don't believe anybody who have been the architects of our European policy in the last few years is credible to be leader - I don't think they can win back these seats.

"Keir Starmer led us to a policy that did not listen to Labour leave voices who urged caution, he led us down the path of a second referendum, and I'm afraid Emily Thornberry did as well - she said to one of my colleagues 'I'm glad my constituents aren't as stupid as yours'."

Flint had served as an MP for Don Valley for 22 years.

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