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  George calls for Labour to reconnect with the electorate

Following press speculation about the future of Gordon Brown, George released a statement below to the Liverpool Echo earlier today, Monday 28 July 08. You can see the Echo's coverage here.

“It is nonsense for anybody to claim that I am part of a plot to oust Gordon Brown and replace him with Jack Straw. Jack has made his own position clear and I do not speak on his behalf.

“In common with most Labour colleagues, I have been talking about the very difficult situation we face following the Glasgow East by-election. I am emphatically not compiling a list of MPs willing to sign a letter to Gordon. Others may be doing so, but this is a matter for them.

“I have said to fellow MPs and party members that we are in a perilous situation. We need to think long and hard about how we got here and what we must now do.

“In my view we have to look at three things:

“First, we need to correct policy mistakes - for example, car tax and scrapping the 10p tax rate which we introduced as a Government. The National Policy Forum this weekend has started that process.

“Second, we need to work out why we seem to have lost touch with the electorate including in the so-called heartland areas. We must find a way of reconnecting quickly.

“Third, the role of the Prime Minister has to be part of this discussion.

“Those who say that I have some sort of personal grudge against Gordon Brown have largely missed the point. I nominated him as leader and voted for him. I want the Labour Prime Minister to do well.

“My main worry is very straightforward. My constituency has now started to climb out of the appalling situation we had endured under the last Tory government with high levels of unemployment and long-term neglect of essential public services such as health and education.

“Areas like ours simply cannot afford another Tory government, and Labour has a duty to ensure that we do not get one.”



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©2007-19 Rt Hon George Howarth MP for Knowsley