Boris Johnson gives housing association tenants the right to buy
Labor must seize the ‘political opportunity’
Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer’s allies have said he will announce a range of new policies in the coming months after party great Lord Mandelson called on the party to ‘raise its aims’.
Former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson, one of New Labour’s architects, believes Sir Keir must ‘accelerate’ policy development and ‘turn the intellectual tide’ rather than simply hope to profit from Mr Johnson’s difficulties.
Lord Mandelson used a speech in Durham to say that Labor must seize the political opportunity before it.
“The current government’s lack of a plan or sense of national mission is holding the country back,” he said.
“I regret it but it is a substantial opportunity for the Labor Party.
“Labour has come a long way since the last election in 2019, when Jeremy Corbyn abandoned us on an imaginary island, but given everything that is happening in the Conservative Party now, the time has come for Labor to look up and accelerate its own political reflection before the next election.
Lord Mandelson says ‘the country at a pivotal moment’
He suggested Labor should seek a “decisive victory” like Lady Thatcher’s victory in 1979 rather than “sneaking its way to the finish line as Labor did five years before it in 1974”.
Warning that the country was at a pivotal moment, with the risk of a return to the low growth and high inflation of the 1970s, the Labor peer said: ‘We don’t have to resign ourselves to inertia and decline”.
Highlighting the need to invest in digital, artificial intelligence and carbon transition technologies, he said: “This is where I want my own party to focus as it prepares for the next election.”
Responding to the speech, the Labor spokesman said: ‘Peter Mandelson continues to focus on the industrial policy he had in government and it is a goal Keir Starmer shares.
The spokesman insisted that voters were already returning to the party across the country.
“We will continue to focus on the issues that matter to the public, which is the cost of living crisis and how we are growing the economy.”
Further policies will be worked out in preparation for the party’s autumn conference in Liverpool in September.
“You would expect us to make announcements before the party conference and during it,” the spokesperson said.
He added that progress has already been made: “Look at the success we have had in local elections, you keep seeing people coming back to Labor all over the country.”