Clive Lewis: Starmer needs to 'up his game' as Labour vision unclear

MP for Norwich (South) Clive Lewis at the Fridays for Future climate protest on the steps of city ha

Clive Lewis spoke on Politics East on Sunday - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's Labour MP has said the party needs to make its vision clear after it "went in naked" into this week's elections. 

Speaking on Politics East on Sunday, Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, said the Labour Party needed to work with other political groups to level up the first past the post system to compete with the Conservative party.  

He said: "There are two approaches we need to take, the first is in the short term. A vision that can be articulated and expressed on the doorstep. 

"In these elections, I think we went in naked, I understand it has been a tough year but that is not an excuse to not have a vision and some policy ideas and direction and it simply wasn’t there. "

On working with other parties, he said: "I think if we can do those two things, have our own message, our own vision and that strategic change in terms of how we approach first past the post elections we can begin to make inroads."

Asked if Sir Keir Starmer should be removed from his post as Labour leader, Mr Lewis said he needed to “up his game”.

Mr Lewis said: “I think for Keir Starmer the mark is B minus at the moment. There needs to be room for large improvement and he needs to show that actually not just on political management, but on his political vision he has a strategy that can take us forward in the next two years.  

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"There is likely to be a general election in the next two to three years and we need to know this is an individual that has a game plan for taking us forward. At the moment it isn’t clear.  I think he needs to up his game but the party also needs to understand that this is going to be a hard task ahead of us." 

In the county elections, the Conservatives tightened their grip after taking six more seats, including King's Lynn North and Central from Labour.

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group, said: "I think we are pretty disappointed with the way it went across the county.

"I make no excuses - that is democracy and that's what the judgement of people has been.

"But what we have seen is that those candidates who have done best are those most rooted in their communities."

Following the party's retention of Norwich City Council, Alan Waters said it had been a difficult set of elections for the party overall but he was pleased with the performance in Norwich.

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