'I'm sorry we didn't give you a Labour party you could trust' - Caroline Flint in parting shot to Jeremy Corbyn as she loses Don Valley to Conservatives
Departing Doncaster Labour MP Caroline Flint has blasted party leader Jeremy Corbyn after she lost her seat to the Conservatives.
She took aim at the Labour’s stance on Brexit and of the party leadership.
In a stunning night for the Tories, nationally, Flint departed Westminster after 22 years first elected in the Labour landslide under Tony Blair in 1997.
Flint called for Corbyn to stand down and had a pop at “influential Labour figures with North London postcodes.”
The now former Don Valley MP said he kept her ‘integrity intact’ who ‘kept promises to voters on Brexit’.
Bawtry-based Nick Fletcher, who runs an electrical firm in the borough, upset the odds in a seat which has been Labour since 1922.
He thanked God and activists who helped him to victory in a seat once dominated by coal and the legacy of Thatcher.
Fletcher, who is Doncaster Conservative chairman, said he wanted to bring people together from whatever party they back in this election.
The result showed voters in this part of South Yorkshire sent the strongest possible signal to Labour and to its leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Brexit and the leader himself were big issues on the doorstep and this transcended in a shock night at the Advanced Transport & Infrastructure National College.
Ed Miliband, who had his majority slashed from 14,000 in 2017 to under 3,000, cut a lonely figure as he walked silently ignoring questions from a scrum of reporters on the way back to his car.
Doncaster Central’s Rosie Winterton also took no questions and was ushered into a side room flanked by her campaign staff.
The borough, often labelled as ‘Labour heartland’, now seems to be fair game for the Tories.
Speaking on stage after the result was announced, Flint said: “Keeping my integrity intact, as an MP who kept my promises to my voters on Brexit. Win or lose, I would not change that.
“Tonight is a sad night, but shed no tears on my behalf - defeat in some respects a blessed relief respite from what is a miserable period in politics.
“To those voters who backed us, I’m sorry that our party did not offer you the Labour party you felt you can trust.
“And to those influential Labour figures, living in North London postcodes, who have brought us to this point, I remind them that Labour cannot simply be a party of big cities and university towns, nor just the party of the young or devoted remainers.
“We must be a party close to working class people because what is the point of the Labour party if we don’t respect and represent those voices. The people we haven’t listened to or respected enough - it is self evident in Doncaster and across the country that long standing Labour voters rejected our candidate for Prime Minister and the politics that surround him.”
Speaking after the results came in, Flint said: “What this election has shown is our party has increased its movement from many of the people who supported us over many generations in the North and the Midlands.
“For too long now, we haven’t listened to those people, our policy debates have been dominated in cities and university towns and a combination of factors - colleagues who decided to pursue a ‘stop Brexit’ and push that position as a party has moved our vote away in Doncaster.”