A Labour MP considering standing as leader says the party needs the equivalent of “Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan” to win back support in the country.
Jamie Reed, the MP for Copeland, has received support from fellow MPs who think his background, as the son of an electrician and a shop worker, makes him an ideal candidate.
Speaking from a Morrisons supermarket in his Cumbrian constituency, where he was buying food for a family camping trip, Mr Reed said he was “still thinking” of running because he wanted the debate to address the issue of northern voters who want more power through devolution.
Mr Reed said: “I was listening to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan this morning. They have lived what they are singing about and we need a Labour leader who has lived what they sing about.”
In a letter to fellow MPs this weekend, Mr Reed writes: “Our approach to peripheral areas and non-metropolitan communities must now be fundamentally reassessed, as must our approach to England. London is not England and the next Labour leader must listen to the marginalised, peripheral communities of our country as the United Kingdom risks disintegrating.”
Writing in this newspaper, Caroline Flint, running for deputy leader, says: “We now face a fight for the very survival of the party… Labour only wins when we build coalitions with roots in every part of the country and all classes.”
Rushanara Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, is also likely to stand for deputy leader. She told The Independent on Sunday: “I’m considering running. I’m speaking to colleagues who know I have a lot to offer both in terms of grassroots campaigns and interesting policy ideas. The power lies with the Parliamentary Labour Party and it will be up to them whether I’m in the race or not. I’ll be making my mind up over the coming days.”