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The Beckett Report Isn't Sexy But Its Results Are Needed

10/01/2016 22:14 GMT | Updated 10/01/2017 10:12 GMT

I've never been a huge fan of e-petitions.

How many times have we all seen ridiculous petitions gaining hundreds of thousands of email addresses not because the virtual signatories have thought out all aspects of a difficult concept but because it's easy to jump on a bandwagon?

I mean, come on, more than half a million people potentially wanting to ban the next President of the United States from Britain? Have they really thought things through?

But it's clear there is a certain currency in e-petitions these days so if you can't beat them, as they say, join them.

You may have forgotten by now but in those interminable months between Ed Miliband standing down as Labour leader and Jeremy Corbyn being elected we did have someone else in charge of the Labour Party. Someone who quietly went about ensuring a leadership election was conducted fairly, someone who acted as an effective opposition and someone who pledged to find out why Labour had lost so badly on May 7.

Harriet Harman appointed Dame Margaret Beckett to carry out an inquiry into what went wrong at the General Election. Dame Margaret's 'Learning the Lessons Taskforce' was drawn from the upper echelons of Labour, big party names like Jim Kennedy, Iain McNicol, Valerie Vaz and Johanna Baxter were all enlisted.

As well as a qualitative data analysis of results a mixture of online submissions and hearings across the country were held to get to the bottom of Labour's failings.

As Ms Harman said when launching the inquiry 'No stone must be left unturned'.

Dame Margaret finalised her report last autumn and sent it to Jeremy Corbyn.

And then nothing.

No one knows what the report says and of course someone with the dignity and standing of Dame Margaret would never countenance leaks.

But the results are needed whether they support the new direction of the party, or whether in the analysis they suggest another course is needed.

As Harriet said: 'we must waste no time in kick-starting a forensic, honest examination of where we went wrong if we are to regain the trust of the British public.' That can only ever happen if members understand and appreciate what the outcomes were.

So that is why I've started an E-petition calling on Mr Corbyn to release the Beckett Report.

Now I know Dame Margaret's report isn't sexy and yes, of course, we should go on opposing the Tories but I have no doubt it will also provide guidance in the approach Labour should be setting out to the wider electorate.

Mr Corbyn promised Labour members more openness, more transparency, a kinder, gentler politics. Understanding where Labour went wrong in the past has to be a step to achieving that.

The Beckett Report should be released without delay.

You can sign the petition calling on Jeremy Corbyn to release the Beckett Report by visiting https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-corbyn-mp-release-the-beckett-report