Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has demanded ‘things have to change’ after humiliating Copeland defeat

Labour’s deputy Leader has said “things have to change” in the wake of the party’s devastating by-election defeat in Copeland.

Tom Watson reminded his party it must win 100 seats at the next election to overthrow the Tories and that holding on to constituencies like Copeland should be “the easy bit”.

He demanded Labour reconnect with its natural voters and pursue a “broad” agenda that could unite people from different backgrounds, including those who “create prosperity”.

While the Deputy Leader said it was “not the time” for another leadership election, his words will be read by some as a criticism of the approach adopted by Jeremy Corbyn up to now.

It comes after ex-foreign secretary also used an interview to signal a potential return to UK politics and advocate a return for Labour to a centre-left pro-European agenda.

Labour’s shocking by-election loss to the Tories in Copeland, the first time an opposition party has lost a by-election to a governing party in decades, left one member of Mr Corbyn’s own frontbench admitting the result would deliver Labour’s worst general election result since the 1930s if replicated in 2020.


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