Labour leadership hopeful Lewis wants unity as party faces ‘existential crisis’

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Labour leadership contender Clive Lewis has issued a plea for unity in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as he insisted the party faces an “existential crisis”.

In a reference to Labour’s post-election state, the shadow treasury minister said when you were “on a cliff-edge” it was better to work with the people “dangling with you”, rather than attack them.

His comments came in Twitter remarks after media outlets contacted him for his views on party chairman Ian Lavery’s analysis of why Labour lost so heavily.

Mr Lavery, who has been suggested as a possible leadership candidate, said: “Labour lost because of our Brexit position, infighting, a collapse of industry in our communities and a lack of trust in our ability to deliver.”

General Election 2019
Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery with the party’s candidate in Walsall North, Gill Ogilvie (Matthew Cooper/PA)

“So perhaps if all we use the coming (Labour leadership) elections as a lens through which to listen to each other, we can work out a path ahead.

“Because Ian Lavery is correct to say we face an existential crisis as a party.

“As such, when you’re hanging by the fingernails on a cliff edge, it’s usually not a good time to start fighting with those dangling with you. Far better is to help each other work out the way back up the cliff face.”

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She stated: “I hope in November, our long global nightmare will be over and Donald Trump will be dumped out of office by the American people, and we will finally see the United States resume its role as a global leader on the issues that matter to us all.

“And what’s more, Trump’s defeat would hopefully turn the tide on his vicious band of so-called ‘populist’ imitators around the globe, including our current PM.”

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