Jun 27, 2021
2 mins read
This is a maiden speech I have had the audacity, perhaps impudence, to write for the next Labour leader. They would be well advised to stick to a fairly close final version of this speech if they wish to be a serious contender to become the next prime minister.
The Labour Party has broken trust with the British people twice this century. We broke trust over Iraq and we broke trust over Brexit.
The former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has apologised on behalf of the Labour Party for Tony Blair leading the country into an illegal war of aggression against Iraq. I am here today to apologise for Labour trying to stop Brexit.
The attempts by Labour to overturn the democratic decision to leave the EU were undemocratic and wrong. We promised to accept the referendum result and we broke our word.
Labour is a democratic socialist party. Democracy and socialism are our two core principles. There was no excuse for Labour failing to accept the largest democratic mandate in the history of British democracy.
Although Labour members were well intentioned, wishing to avert an outcome they are deeply concerned will cost jobs and harm the economy, there is no excuse for ignoring ballot results. That is the antithesis of Labour's democratic values.
Bad faith actors were also involved. People involved in the coup to topple Jeremy Corbyn led the second referendum campaign and used it as a weapon to carry out their treacherous mission to topple a twice elected Labour leader.
My first task as Labour leader is to apologise to leave voters. Labour shamefully dishonoured your vote. I am deeply sorry and unreservedly apologise on behalf of the Labour Party for that breach of trust. I guarantee that under my leadership Labour will never disrespect voters’ wishes.
I also wish to apologise to remain voters. You were led up the garden path by the MPs who supported the People’s Vote. There was never a majority in the country or Parliament for a second referendum, it was primarily a device to topple the Labour leader. You were used by the Labour MPs who pushed the second referendum and for that I sincerely apologise.
I hope it will be possible to rebuild trust with the public. It is up to me to prove to you that my word is my bond. It is my job to rebuild trust and give people a reason to vote Labour again.
Regarding internal party matters, the Forde Report will be published immediately. Anyone who is found to have been involved in sabotaging the election of a Labour government will face disciplinary action. As leader I will have no involvement in that process.
My highest priority is increasing the number of people who vote Labour. I will do that by setting out the programme of government I will implement if I become prime minister.
Judge me by my actions. All I ask for is the opportunity to serve my country.
Thank you for your time.