Labour’s Barry Gardiner compares Boris Jonhson’s Tory Party to North Korea dictatorship

In a shocking comment on BBC Any Questions?, the shadow trade secretary claimed consensus and dictatorship should not be confused with one another as he compared the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson’s leadership to North Korea’s totalitarian regime. He said: “How has that division been healed in the Conservative Party?

“It’s been healed by throwing out of the Conservative Party 21 of those people we would have thought were its most staunch one nation Conservatives.

“I don’t believe that that’s the way you heal division.

“Dictatorship can achieve what it wants but it’s not consensus.

“And we shouldn’t confuse the two just because everybody falls in line.

“They do that in North Korea.”

Labour lost a total of 59 seats in Thursday’s general election in the worst result for the party since 1935.

Speaking to Sky News shadow chancellor John McDonnell claimed it is time for the Labour Party leadership to move on and listen to its people.

He revealed a completely new team will be appointed for the next Labour’s shadow cabinet following the staggering defeat of Jeremy Corbyn’s party at the general election.

Mr McDonnell said: “We will all go now. The new leader will come in place and appoint a shadow cabinet. I won’t be part of the shadow cabinet.

“I’ve done my bit. We need to move on at that stage with that new leader.

“I think we’ll be in a position where we’ll be learning lessons listening to people.”

Former Labour MPs who lost their seats in Thursday’s election have blamed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the party’s alienation of its northern voters for the loss.

Former Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme “the biggest factor was obviously the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader”, adding: “The fact of the matter is that Jeremy Corbyn failed as a communicator, whatever his good personal qualities, and he undoubtedly has good personal qualities, he failed as a communicator.”

However, Labour MP for York Central Rachel Maskell – who retained her seat – said it is not just Mr Corbyn who should take responsibility for Labour’s defeat.

She said: “We’ve all got to take responsibility but I don’t think apportioning blame to a complex situation in a simplistic way is really the way to approach this, we’ve got to understand what is really happening across our political system.”

Ex-shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman, another former Labour MP who lost her seat in Darlington, added: “You can’t run a political party that wants to be a party of government but only really appeals to about a third of the electorate and those people that live in cities who are fairly well-off people.

“The real question we have to ask ourselves now is do we want the Tories, do we want to give them another five years or another 15 years, because if we get this wrong now as a party, this could very well be the end of the Labour movement.”

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Former Labour MP Anna Turley, who lost her seat in Redcar in Thursday’s election, has reiterated that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership lost the election for the Labour Party.

Ms Turley told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “I think it’s quite overwhelming, you have to listen to the people, that’s the first thing that we have to do.

“And for me, when you’re getting four doors in a row of lifelong Labour voters saying ‘I’m sorry Anna, I’m a lifelong Labour voter, I like what you’ve done, but I just can’t vote for that man to be prime minister’, I’m afraid that’s a fundamental barrier that we just couldn’t get across.”

Ms Turley said that Mr Corbyn was “absolutely” more of a reason than Brexit for her constituents voting for another party, adding: “In my constituency, even though it was a 67% Leave constituency, it was four to one the leadership over Brexit.

“I mean obviously the issues run deeper than that, the Labour Party is bigger than just one person, but the reality is there were issues around our perception around competence.”

Ms Turley added that while Labour’s manifesto had “a whole swathe of interesting things”, there were so many that “people were overwhelmed by them” and “people just didn’t believe we were the party that could deliver on any of it”.

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