Spirit of renewal
I was absolutely delighted with the turn-out of Labour colleagues for the launch of the Future Britain Group on Monday evening.
The departure of good people from the Parliamentary Labour Party, in particular friends like Luciana Berger and Ian Austin, had been for me a personal wake-up call to step up and do more. So it was brilliant to see so many faces from across the party coming together to discuss how we can renew our social democratic and democratic socialist principles.
With TIG emerging as a centre ground party that isn't the Lib Dems - who are still not trusted after propping up the austerity party Tories - our electoral challenge is much tougher, particularly in the key seats we need to win back to be in government. TIG are a long way off winning seats and forming a government but they are a threat to us in the battle for swing voters in marginal seats.
The need to focus on achievable goals, that don't split us further is as urgent as it is vital. That's a challenge to everyone, no matter where you sit on the political axis.
The Labour Party is made of many intellectual traditions and we’ve only ever worked and been elected to government when those strands of thought have been respected. To that end the FBG will be developing radical policies over the coming weeks and months on foreign policy and defence, the future of work and pay, education and social mobility, and the future of the NHS and social care. I'll keep you updated.