Labour needs to unite with Lib Dems to win power, says Tony Blair

Labour may have to team up with the Liberal Democrats to win power, says former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He warned simply ditching Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing agenda would not be enough to take the keys to Downing Street.

He said the Lib Dems must “aspire to govern and show clarity of purpose”.

Mr Blair, who won three general elections for Labour, was speaking on the 120th anniversary of the party’s formation.

He said: “If Labour becomes more moderate and less extreme, of course it will do better.

“But not much. The problem is that we have defined radical politics by a policy agenda which is hopelessly out of date, with ‘moderate’ politics being just a milder version of it.”

Outlining a string of ways to win power, he said:

“First, we must build a new progressive coalition, to put Labour values into practice.

“We must correct the defect from our birth that separated the liberal reforming traditions of Lloyd George, Beveridge and Keynes from the Labour ones of Hardy, Attlee [and] Bevan.

“These traditions became separated by ideas around class, industrial organisation, the role of the state and individual liberty – all of which ideas are time bound.

“But they had in common social reform, advancement of opportunity, passionate commitment to fighting poverty and injustice, all of which are timeless.

“How this is done institutionally, that’s a matter for debate.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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