Labour must pull together and avoid 'self-pity' and 'recriminations' union boss says

30 December 2019, 10:50 | Updated: 30 December 2019, 13:53

The TUC leader issued the warning on Monday
The TUC leader issued the warning on Monday. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The head of the TUC has urged Labour not to engage in "self-pity" and "recriminations" following its worst election results since 1935.

Frances O'Grady has warned Labour needs to pull together as it deals with the fallout from the disastrous election result.

She said, "life doesn't wait for the leadership contest, we need to hold the government to account on the promises it's made on improving workers rights and a trade deal that doesn't destroy jobs."

“In 2020 the trade union movement will hold Boris Johnson’s feet to the fire on his promises to invest in schools and hospitals, get real wages rising and deliver stronger rights at work.

“We will resist his attacks on the right to strike and on the very organisations that help people get a better deal at work – unions.

“And we will fight to make sure that the UK’s Brexit trade deals protect labour standards and good jobs – and to stop Donald Trump getting his hands on our NHS,” she said on Monday. 

In the worst election defeat since 1935 Jeremy Corbyn's party lost 59 seats as the Tories took a majority of 80.

The TUC leader has used her New Year message to claim the Opposition must be "fighting fit" in order to hold the Prime Minister to account.

In her address, Ms O’Grady said: “As we face the challenges of the 2020s, all parts of the labour and trade union movement must pull together. We must be a broad church – and a bigger one too.

“My message to the labour movement for the year ahead is this: now is not the time for self-pity or recriminations. Our job is to fight for working people, not against each other.

“We need to learn the lessons of the 2019 election and listen to the working-class communities we exist to serve. We need to show humility, reflect – and then pick ourselves up and prepare for the battles ahead.”



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