David Blunkett quits as MP: Ex-home secretary warns election defeat could sent Labour to 'political wilderness' for 15 years

The former cabinet minister warns that a Conservative win in the 2015 general election will see Labour interests excluded until 2030

Labour will be thrust into a political “wilderness” until 2030 unless it wins the next general election, former cabinet minister David Blunkett has warned.

Mr Blunkett, who stood down this morning, said that a win for a majority Conservative government would see Labour interests sidelined and stifled by Tory policies.

And he warned that failure to secure victory in 2015 would ruin everything he stood for over his illustrious 51 years with Labour.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Mr Blunkett said he believed Ed Miliband would win the election and that he was the “only man” for the job.

"Ed Miliband will lead us to victory, I believe he can and I believe he will,” he said.

"He is the only man and he is the only man because he is our leader. Nobody is going to challenge him, he is in a unique position, actually because Tony Blair was bedevilled and in the latter days so was Gordon Brown. Ed is free of that.”

But he warned that defeat could spell disaster for the left-wing party.

"I think we would be in the wilderness for as much as 15 years because all the changes that the Conservative majority government would bring in would actually not be about fairness or equity or even sharing power, it would be about excluding the Labour party," he warned.

In the frank and open interview, Mr Blunkett urged listeners to consider the potential consequences of a Tory win in May 2015.

"We are talking about the future of the people we care about, we are talking about how we handle continuing levels of austerity and fairness, and whether the rich get richer and those at the very, very sharp end of austerity measures, the loss of public services gets worse," he said.

Mr Blunkett added: "Yes, we are talking about whether the vehicle for achieving everything that I stood for, and I have been in the Labour party for 51 years, would be made that much more difficult by victory in 2015 by the Conservatives.”

The former home secretary’s remarks come during a period of rising unease within the highest ranks of the Labour party.

Yesterday, frontbench MPs warned that Miliband would have to step down if Labour fail to secure victory.

Mr Blunkett, 67, twice resigned from Cabinet posts under Tony Blair. He told local politicians in his constituency that his decision to step down was “by far the most difficult political decision I have ever made, in a lifetime of extremely difficult decisions”.

Mr Blunkett, who is blind, was first elected as MP for Sheffield Brightside in 1987. He went on to serve as education secretary, home secretary and work and pensions secretary under Tony Blair.

His decision to step down leaves a vacancy in a safe Labour seat, which Mr Blunkett won with a 13,632 majority in 2010.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen