Labour on course to win next election ‘with comfortable majority’, David Lammy says

Shadow foreign secretary dismisses idea of electoral pacts and says Labour will win outright

Wakefield result suggests Labour would win next election 'comfortably', David Lammy says

Labour is on course to win the next general election “with a comfortable majority” after Boris Johnson’s byelection thumpings, David Lammy says.

The shadow foreign secretary argued the results in Wakefield and in Tiverton and Honiton showed there was no need for an electoral pact with the Liberal Democrats – because Labour will win outright.

The Conservatives are seeking to provoke a public backlash against an informal agreement between the parties which sees each focus on seats where they are stronger, describing it is a backstairs pact.

But Mr Lammy denied it and said of Labour’s win in Wakefield: “If that result was replicated across the country, I would be foreign secretary and Labour would, in fact, be forming the government.”

He added: “On that result in Wakefield, and indeed Tiverton, we would be forming the next government with a comfortable majority – that’s what that result tells us.”

Speaking on the BBC, he added: “There will be no pact with the SNP, there will be no pact with the Liberal Democrats, there will be no pact with the Greens.”

The shadow foreign secretary declined to say what punishment will be imposed on Labour frontbenchers who defied Keir Starmer by joining RMT picket lines – and hinted the order will be repeated for future strikes.

Mr Lammy said the party’s chief whip would speak to the rebels in the coming days and be “making it very clear that a serious party of government does not join picket lines”.

He acknowledged “further disputes” are likely – with teachers, NHS staff and legal aid solicitors all contemplating strike action – and warned the rebels: “I don’t think it’s helpful to stand on picket lines.”

But Mr Lammy denied Sir Keir had “lost control of his own MPs”, adding: “The Labour party is not divided.”

He declined to say whether Labour supports the striking rail workers demand for a seven per cent pay rise – arguing it is not the opposition’s job to “pretend we can negotiate”.

And he urged Labour supporters to drop their hopes of rejoining the EU, pointing to the referendum result and saying: “The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again.”

Later, Mr Lammy said he “categorically” does not support GMB and Unite staging a strike of BA check-in staff.

“All of us are feeling the pinch with inflation. Many of us might want a [pay] rise of 10 per cent in truth, most people understand it’s unlikely that you’re going to get that,” he said.

“It absolutely would not be right, it would not be responsible opposition, if I suggested yes to every strike.”

Asked if he supports the proposed strike by check-in staff, he said: “No, I don’t. No I don’t – it is a no, it’s a categorical no.”

Asked why, he said: “Because I’m serious about the business of being in government and the business of being in government is that you support negotiation.”

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