Labour leadership hopeful Clive Lewis has called for the party to show unity to overcome the party’s “existential crisis”.
The shadow Treasury minister took to Twitter on New Year’s Day to complain about being contacted by media outlets for his views on party chairman Ian Lavery’s analysis of why Labour lost so heavily in last month’s election.
Lavery, who has been suggested as a possible leadership candidate, said Labour was defeated by the Conservatives “because of our Brexit position, infighting, a collapse of industry in our communities and a lack of trust in our ability to deliver”.
Lewis, who was pro-Remain, said when “on a cliff-edge” it was better to work with the people “dangling with you”, rather than attack them.
The Norwich South MP tweeted: “Whilst I don’t agree with everything he’s said I do agree with parts of his analysis.
“So perhaps if all we use the coming (Labour leadership) elections as a lens through which to listen to each other, we can work out a path ahead.
“Because Ian Lavery is correct to say we face an existential crisis as a party.
“As such, when you’re hanging by the fingernails on a cliff edge, it’s usually not a good time to start fighting with those dangling with you. Far better is to help each other work out the way back up the cliff face.”
Fellow declared candidate for the Labour leadership, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, took to Facebook to accuse prime minister Boris Johnson of being a “vicious populist imitator” of US president Donald Trump.
She stated: “I hope in November, our long global nightmare will be over and Donald Trump will be dumped out of office by the American people, and we will finally see the United States resume its role as a global leader on the issues that matter to us all.
“And what’s more, Trump’s defeat would hopefully turn the tide on his vicious band of so-called ‘populist’ imitators around the globe, including our current PM.”
The contest to succeed Corbyn has yet to officially start but a number of other candidates are expected to declare in the coming weeks.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and arch-Remainer and Tottenham MP David Lammy have all expressed interest.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.