Labour must drop Corbyn’s left wing politics to beat Johnson, warns Blair

Labour faces election defeat at the hand of a Boris Johnson-led Tory Party unless it abandons Jeremy Corbyn’s “revolutionary” politics, Tony Blair has warned.

Following Theresa May’s announcement she will stand down once she has delivered on Brexit, the former prime minister said Labour needed to be able to counter Mr Johnson’s “right wing populism” if he won the race to succeed her.

In an interview with the HuffPost UK news website, he said the former foreign secretary was a “formidable campaigner” who would pose a powerful challenge to Labour at a general election.

In order to defeat him, he said that Labour needed to offer a “sensible, coherent alternative” that would appeal to those Conservative voters who were “repelled” by his role in Brexit.

Mr Blair, a long-standing critic of Mr Corbyn said that it would be a “bizarre analysis” to suggest such people could be won over by a “revolutionary alternative from the left”.

“If you have a Boris Johnson-led Conservative Party, he’s a formidable campaigner, he’s an interesting personality, he can get out there and do his stuff, for sure,” he said.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson is a a ‘formidable campaigner’, according to Tony Blair (Peter Byrne/PA)

“I have absolutely no doubt that if you have a right-wing populism against a left-wing populism in this country, the right-wing will win. So it depends where we (Labour) stand.

“If we stand in a reasonable position, where you have many Conservative voters voters that will feel repelled by a Boris Johnson premiership, particularly after the part he’s played in Brexit, but you’ve got to be in a position where those people feel it’s safe to vote for you.

“You suddenly offer them a revolutionary alternative from the left, what makes you think the people who voted Tory are suddenly going to go for that? It’s a bizarre analysis of their psyche.”

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