Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has said Jeremy Corbyn cannot be “exonerated” for the party’s crushing election defeat, after an internal report largely blamed it on Brexit.
Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery, the party’s election co-ordinators, told Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday it was “unlikely” Corbyn’s leadership or the domestic policy platform was at fault.
The document, leaked to the Financial Times, said Corbyn had been the victim of an “assault” on his character “without precedent in modern politics”.
Gwynne and Lavery said it would be “unrealistic” not to conclude the divisions in the country over Brexit led to Labour’s defeat.
Appearing on LBC on Wednesday morning, Nandy was asked about the report and if “Jeremy Corbyn should be exonerated” for the result.
“None of us can be exonerated for the worst election defeat since 1935. We got it badly wrong on all sorts of issues,” she said.
Nandy added the party got it wrong on Brexit as it “accepted the idea you pick a side”.
“I think we managed to hit the sweet spot where Remainers though we were Leavers and Leavers thought we were Remainers,” she said. “All over the county we were just losing hand over fist.”
Labour went into the 2019 election pledging to hold a second referendum on any Brexit deal, and to include the option of Remain on the ballot paper.
The party’s NEC met yesterday to conduct a post-mortem of its election defeat.
In a separate submission to the NEC, handed to HuffPost UK, the party’s newly-formed team of specialist community activists argued they prevented “further destruction of the party” despite its election drubbing.
Another report, produced by Corbyn’s digital media team and leaked to this publication, argued it outperformed Labour’s official online team and accused the team of performing worse than it did in 2017.