'Farage needs to get used to scrutiny and Labour and the Tories should continue to call him out' -  Bill Rammell

Nigel Farage

'The Conservative Party should not out Farage,' says Bill Rammell

Bill Rammell

By Bill Rammell

Published: 08/07/2024

- 13:08

Former Labour MP and Minister Bill Rammell speaks about Labour "rebuilding Britain and restoring faith in politics"

Sometimes in politics the obvious is staring you in the face and you don’t believe it.

But it has been clear for well over a year from by elections, massive opinion poll leads for Labour, and the Tories losing historic numbers of local council seats to Labour, that Labour was heading for a landslide election win against the Tories. And it came to pass on July 4.

This was a seismic, historic Labour landslide. Equivalent in scale to 1997. A massive rejection of the Tories, who wasted Britain. It was built on confidence that Labour under Starmer could be trusted. A huge desire for change.

The new Labour Government led by Kier Starmer is a strong one. United on policy, the Corbynite hard left destroyed, and a clear determination to govern in the service of the people. The opposition is divided, as the centre and left was in the eighties which allowed Thatcher the space to achieve lasting change. And the potential to improve the economy.

City analysts wrote this week how a Labour landslide would be good for the economy after the chaos and division of the Tories. They predicted it would be good for investment, the pound and shares.

There is a real chance that Labour has under promised but can over deliver. Yet turn out and the Labour vote share was low. Why? I think too many were lulled by the polls and took a Labour victory for granted.

And stayed at home or voted Green because they thought it was safe to do so. There was massive tactical voting for the Lib Dems-a good thing to help get the Tories out-which depressed the Labour vote.

And in heavily Muslim seats Gaza cost Labour votes. And Labour failed to enthuse people. But there is the prospect that in Government decent, stable and sensible leadership can restore trust, faith and belief in politics, which has been battered by 14 dreadful, tawdry years under the Tories.

And this was the worst Tory defeat since 1832. The chaos and division, the Johnson lies, the Truss madness-it all contributed. The fact that wages haven’t risen in real terms since 2008 was the killer for the Tories.

And in Sunak, the Tories had a leader who was really, really bad at politics but thought he was really, really good. A toxic combination.

He led the worst election campaign in my lifetime, epitomised by his disdain for our veterans and fallen soldiers, when he left the D-Day commemorations early. And what of the future for the Tories?

They need to show some humility and contrition. There is of now no sign they get why they lost. They should take time, work out why they lost so badly and determine how they put it right. They should move back to the centre ground. They can’t and shouldn’t out Farage.


What of Reform? Their vote share at 14 per cent was not what it looked like being two weeks ago. The longer the campaign went on, the more Nigel Farage became rattled by scrutiny.

Well, if you present simplistic solutions to complicated problems as all populists do, you will get called out. Farage should get used to it. And Labour and the Tories should do this relentlessly.

The icing on the cake in the election was the defenestration of the SNP in Scotland, with Labour crushing them 37 to nine seats. Their woeful record in Government, and the stench of corruption which surrounds them finally came home to roost.

Now the task of rebuilding Britain and restoring faith in politics begins with Labour. Deliver growth, mount the biggest house building program in generations, deliver lower costs and energy security through Great British Energy, and restore our public services. It won’t happen overnight, but if Labour begins to make progress and develops the narrative to depict change, which is so important in politics, it will be rewarded by the electorate.

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