John McDonnell takes the blame for Labour's 'catastrophic' election performance
Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has once again apologised for his party’s devastating defeat in the general election.
McDonnell admitted he was partly to blame for the “disaster” during an interview on BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning.
He said: “It’s on me, let’s take it on the chin, I own this disaster so I apologise to all those wonderful Labour MPs who have lost their seats and who worked so hard.”
But the MP for Hayes and Harlington also continued to blame Brexit and the Media for Labour’s worst defeat since 1935.
Below is a clip from McDonnell’s appearance on the Andrew Marr show:
“If anyone’s to blame, it is me”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell apologises on #Marr for Labour’s election campaign “disaster”https://t.co/l3uOT6jUeT pic.twitter.com/IYkBh1Ycq0
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 15, 2019
Jeremy Corbyn, who announced he would resign as Labour leader, also apologised to supporters over the party’s catastrophic performance.
In an open letter, he acknowledged the party “came up short” in the poll on Thursday, adding: “I take my responsibility for it.”
But despite Labour suffering its worst result in more than 80 years – with dozens of seats falling to the Tories – he said he was “proud” the party had offered a message of “hope” in the election.
McDonnell, who is resigning from the shadow cabinet in the new year, was speaking as the post-mortem examination was in full swing, with potential candidates to replace the leader setting out their stalls.
Key figures in the current leadership were tipping shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, but backbenchers Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips were testing the waters for a challenge.
McDonnell predicted the leadership change will take place in eight to ten weeks, tipping Ms Long-Bailey as having the ability to be “a brilliant leader”.
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He also praised shadow cabinet ministers Angela Rayner, Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon, who himself was backing Ms Long-Bailey and said he is “considering” running as her deputy.
The shadow chancellor said he “prefers others” to Ms Phillips, before describing her as “really talented”.
He added the next leader should be a woman – which would make her the first to lead the party – and said it was “most probably time for a non-metropolitan” candidate because “we need a northern voice”.