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Lisa For the Long Game

By Hal Meakin

Why MP Lisa Nandy should be the new Labour Leader.

Within minutes of hearing that Jeremy Corbyn had resigned, I was telling anyone who would listen about MP Lisa Nandy (Labour).

Compassionate, plucky and (most importantly) Northern, she embodies the British spirit better than all of her rivals. However, Labour has got to realise that there are no quick fixes for the electoral swamp they are mired in.

Finding myself in the Labour conference in 2016, I sat and watched dozens of names advertise their veneer to their party. Lisa Nandy was the exception when she took the radical step of presenting herself to the world, never engaging in superficial sycophancy. Full of heart and hardy as hell, her genuine approach won me over and converted her into one of my favourite politicians sitting on the green benches.

Lisa could rejuvenate Labour’s relationship with the northern communities who have been the victims of decades of dishonesty. The disbelief that rippled through the Labour party upon seeing red communities vote blue came as no surprise to those who live in those towns.

MP Keir Starmer and MP Rebecca Long-Bailey are politicians with pedigrees entangled in Westminster mire, whereas Lisa Nandy offers a chance to be an honest face for disillusioned voters.

However, it is unlikely that Labour will win the next election. The momentum, for now, remains with Boris Johnson who is ridiculing opponents within his party, let alone the official opposition. Whether or not you agree with what he has done, it’s hard to deny that he has done it very well. Returning with a majority government means there are very few Conservative MPs prepared to stand in his way; lest he ploughs through them like children at a rugby match.

Rather than reaching for victory, the next Labour leader, whoever it is, needs to stop the bleeding and shore up support in their heartlands. Typical voters don’t go to the ballot box with pages of notes and a spreadsheet, they vote with their gut and base their opinions on an instinctive feel for a person. They believed that Boris Johnson could deliver Brexit better than Jeremy Corbyn, so they voted accordingly.

Earning trust has to be done by a trustworthy person and my gut would give the keys of the country to Lisa Nandy. However, it’s a long way back for Labour and the fixes will not happen over one election.

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