Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Must Rebuild the Labour Party

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Must Rebuild the Labour Party

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

Labour backbencher Jon Cruddas today pledged to improve links between the grassroots and the Government if he becomes the party's new deputy leader.

Speaking exclusively to the Chronicle before visiting Tyneside as part of a national tour, Mr Cruddas said Labour had arguably lost its way since the General Election victory of 1997.

Mr Cruddas, who is up against Government big-hitters Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Harriet Harman, Hilary Benn and probably Hazel Blears in the contest for the job, described the Cabinet as too remote.

He says there is a need to reconnect with traditional Labour supporters and rebuild a coalition within the party concentrating on issues that matter such as housing, health, education and employment.

He believes the job of deputy party leader should be separate from that of Deputy Prime Minister and made it clear he has no ambition to follow in John Prescott's footsteps. Mr Cruddas, who is meeting party members and trade unionists, will be addressing a public meeting at Newcastle's Royal Station Hotel at 12. …

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