Labour must 'wrap itself in the St George's flag' to survive in England, Tristram Hunt warns

Shadow Education Secretary makes the argument for a separate Labour party in England

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Indy Politics

Labour needs to "wrap itself in the flag" of St George to "solve its England problem," a leading figure in the party will suggest today.

In a dire warning of the threat to the party's very existence, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt will make an intervention telling his colleagues to face up to the danger of its vote collapsing in England as it did in Scotland.

He will call for a separate Labour party to be formed in England to counter the charge that it is not patriotic enough.

Tristram Hunt wants the Labour party to celebrate English identity as a way of countering forces such as Ukip

Mr Hunt has already said this week that the party has "no God-given right to exist," using a comparison to Woolworths to warn of the fate that awaits the Labour party if it fails to adapt to modern day Britain.

He will argue in a speech today that a "lack of patriotism" has hurt Labour south of the border and it must be more keen to celebrate national successes such as England’s third-place finish at the women’s football World Cup earlier this month.

“We were beaten by a tag team of Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron,” he will say. “In Scotland voters were told we would sell them out to the Tories. In England, voters were told we would sell them out to the SNP.

“Neither was true but we were feeble in our response. If Scottish Labour needs to rediscover its cultural and emotional ties to the Scottish identity, then the Labour party in England needs to embrace our English identity.

“I do not believe an English Labour Party will undermine solidarity with our colleagues in Scotland."