Baroness Chakrabarti Is Ridiculed
From the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4261334/Chakrabarti-blames-Copeland-loss-carless-Labour-voters.html
Baroness Chakrabarti is ridiculed after she WRONGLY blames Copeland defeat on low turnout saying Labour supporters don’t have CARS
- Shadow attorney general gives laundry list of excuses for Copeland disaster
- Suggests bad public transport and carless Labour voters hampered party
- But insists Jeremy Corbyn’s dire personal ratings nothing to do with the loss
- Critics accuse her of being the ‘epitome of what Labour voters just rejected’
Baroness Chakrabarti has been ridiculed after she wrongly blamed low turnout for Labour’s humiliating defeat in Copeland, saying the party’s supporters don’t have cars.
The shadow attorney general, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, set out a laundry list of excuses during an interview today as she insisted the leader was not responsible for the worst by-election performance since the war.
Factors she cited included interventions by Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, the seat’s former MP Jamie Reed, disunity in the party, divisions over Brexit, media bias, Storm Doris and poor public transport.
But critics quickly pointed out that turnout in Copeland was over 51 per cent – significantly higher than the 38 per cent in the Stoke by-election, which Labour won, and well above average for such contests. And Mr Reed shot back: ‘Shami and co. have no idea how much the Labour vote dislikes them.’
In her appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Lady Chakrabarti flatly denied that Mr Corbyn’s appalling personal ratings were an issue.
‘It’s not about the terrible regime, it’s about the fact representatives cannot weigh people’s votes anymore,’ she said.
‘There was a low turnout in Copeland and having been to Copeland recently, I know that it’s a very rural constituency, public transport is not great,’ she said.
‘But it’s just one factor, of course that’s not the entire explanation.’
She said: ‘I think Copeland is probably one of those constituencies that was neglected by my own party over some years.
‘It’s remote from London. It’s changed its shape over many years.
‘There’s the nuclear industry and people who’ve done very well out of that industry – and then the people left behind.
‘From my experience in Copeland, Labour has looked like the establishment for a very long time because they’ve been represented by Labour for a long time.’
Lady Chakrabarti also criticised Marr for having Lords Mandelson as a guest the weekend before the vote.
‘Sometimes we haven’t had the fairest or most balanced treatment in the media, including in the broadcast media,’ she said.
But Labour former frontbencher Michael Dugher hit back: ‘Pearls of wisdom from the never-having-stood-for-election, joined-ten-minutes-ago wing of the Labour Party: Labour voters “don’t have cars”.’
Ex-MP Mr Reed – who quit to take a job at Sellafield amid despair in the parliamentary party at their electoral prospects – said Lady Chakrabarti was ‘the epitome of what Labour voters just rejected’.
In a series of tweets directed at the Labour peer, he said: ‘Shami and co. have no idea how much the Labour vote dislikes them. Even faced with the evidence.
‘She’s an unstoppable vote-harvesting-election-winning machine. Or the epitome of what Labour voters just rejected. I wonder which one?’
Using the hashtag #TellShami, Mr Reed reeled off a number of projects such as new schools, hospitals and the Moorside nuclear reactors that had been achieved under Labour leadership.
Mr Reed also insisted the weather was not a factor in Labour’s loss.