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Frank Field: Labour ‘going in opposition direction to voters’

Labour’s leadership is heading “in the opposite direction to where voters are” on big issues, an ex-minister says.

Frank Field said Jeremy Corbyn was in touch on “economic injustices” but warned of an electoral “walloping” over security and migration.

Mr Corbyn is against Britain’s nuclear weapons system and has called on the UK to accept more refugees.

Meanwhile, a former Labour pollster has criticised the party’s report into why it lost the election.

Deborah Mattinson told the BBC’s Sunday Politics her research had not been included in the review, led by Dame Margaret Beckett, and branded it a “whitewash and a massive missed opportunity”.

Labour said the Beckett report had “consulted far and wide”, taking input from pollsters, pundits and academics.

Elections test

Mr Field, a former welfare minister, campaigns on migration issues alongside Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames.

In a Sunday Telegraph article, they call for an end to the UK’s “open-door policy”, warning of a risk to social cohesion unless immigration is reduced.

He told Sky News: “On the big issues, sadly, which will decide the next election, which is about defending our borders and defending us as a nation, the Labour opposition looks as if it is walking in the opposite direction.

“Clearly that is going to have to be sorted out before the next election if we are not to get a walloping yet again.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, Michael Dugher, who was sacked as shadow culture secretary in Mr Corbyn’s reshuffle, said the Labour leader “faces a big test” in the May elections.

Mr Dugher said Mr Corbyn had to be given a chance because of his “huge mandate from party members”, but said he had to show he could convert this into support from the public, including Conservative voters.

Speaking to John Pienaar on BBC Radio 5 Live, former front-bencher Chuka Umunna said May’s elections would be “essential” but said Mr Corbyn was “elected by our members and he deserves a chance to show he can do it”.

He also said it was “unfair” to call the report into Labour’s election defeat a whitewash.

Source By: BBC

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