‘We should have defended our record’ Ben Bradshaw tells Norwich leg of his deputy leadership campaign tour

Former Culture Secretary and Labour party deputy leader candidate Ben Bradshaw meets the public at O

Former Culture Secretary and Labour party deputy leader candidate Ben Bradshaw meets the public at Open.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Labour's deputy leadership contest was the latest political campaign to come to Norwich.

Former Culture Secretary and Labour party deputy leader candidate Ben Bradshaw meets the public at O

Former Culture Secretary and Labour party deputy leader candidate Ben Bradshaw meets the public at Open.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Hopeful Ben Bradshaw, 54, told about 25 people who turned up to his meet and greet that his party had not defended its record strongly enough during the General Election campaign, and if elected, he would overhaul its communications strategy.

He spoke during the East Anglian leg of a nationwide tour and was joined at the Open venue on Bank Plain by his Norwich-based sister Pru Laslett, her husband Patrick and his nieces Sophie and Jenny.

It comes just days after leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn filled the same venue with about 1,000 people who had turned out to hear him speak.

'There is a lot more interest in the leadership and a lot more interest in Jeremy Corbyn than there is in me,' Mr Bradshaw said. 'But I think the deputy leadership role is still going to be very important, and I am the only candidate on either ballot with a record of winning and building for Labour in a former safe Conservative seat of the kind we are going to have to win back. Places like Yarmouth, Waveney, Norwich North where we have to attract people who voted Conservative.' The 54-year-old, who as a deputy leadership candidate has not backed either of the four MPs vying for the top Labour job, said he would be happy to work with any of the leadership candidates and would complement them in useful ways.


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He said he could understand the appeal of frontrunner Mr Corbyn saying his authenticity was attractive, but warned that Labour members needed to focus on electing the team that could win the next General Election. Chris Herries, a city councillor for Lakenham ward, said she wanted to show her support after campaigning with the former culture secretary in his constituency.

The 60-year-old said: 'I was encouraged when I worked with him on the Exeter campaign. He's a good listener and a man of the people. I agree with his views on how to address the media and how to improve communications with the public.'

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What do you think of Ben Bradshaw? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Norwich Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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