Blairite is not a dirty word – Labour’s shadow cabinet can now challenge the Tories

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Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:16
<p>David Lammy, Sir Keir Starmer, Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves walk to the shadow cabinet meeting</p>

David Lammy, Sir Keir Starmer, Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves walk to the shadow cabinet meeting

Yvette Cooper has been forensically exact in her knowledge and understanding of key issues as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. She is an intelligent, thoughtful and principled politician; her values and commitment to the common good are clear for all to see. The wealth of her experience, in government and opposition, makes her promotion to the shadow cabinet most welcome. Unlike those she will be facing on the government benches, she is always well-briefed and precise when calling others to account.

For John McDonnell to brand her and others with the tribal and simplistic epithet “Blairite” while suggesting her appointment is backward-looking is both unhelpful and, ironically, stuck in the past. He and other similarly disposed party members should recognise that more important issues are at stake than continuing with short-sighted internal party wrangling.

Labour – along with other opposition parties – needs to put aside its parochial differences and work consistently to remove this dangerous Tory government. The urgent need to reclaim our democracy is more important than dreaming of a society for which the electorate will no longer vote.

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