LONDON — One of Labours top team told a friend the partys electoral prospects are “dire” because voters outside metropolitan areas “cant stand Corbyn.”
In a recording leaked to Guido Fawkes, Labours Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said “outside of the city seats, if youre in sort of small town Midlands and North, its abysmal out there.”
“They dont like [Boris] Johnson but they cant stand [Jeremy] Corbyn and they think Labours blocked Brexit,” he said. “I dont think theyre long-term gains for the Tory Party but I can well see them going Tory at this election.”
He said Labour was successfully appealing to “middle-class graduates — Remainy people” but that it was “not in big enough numbers to deny the Tories a majority.”
Ashworth said Labour needed to “get itself a half-decent leader next time round” to reverse those losses and regain its “traditional heartland seats.”
On whether Corbyn was a threat to national security, Ashworth said: “I dont know, on the security stuff; I worked in No. 10, I think the machine will pretty quickly move to safeguard security — I mean the civil service machine.” He added: “But its not going to happen! I cannot see it happening!”
Responding to the leak on the BBCs Victoria Derbyshire Show, Ashworth said the tape was real but he had been “joshing around” with a Tory activist. “Its a bit like when youre saying to your mate whos a fan of a rival football team, dont worry, your teams gonna win.” He added: “Im winding a mate up” and described his comments as “banter.”
He added he was “saddened” that his friend had leaked the conversation. “This is a mate I spent three weeks with going around America and hes leaked it all … obviously Im not going to go for a drink with him again.”
He told the BBC he didnt mean it when he said the party “f***ed it up” when they chose Corbyn as leader.
Before becoming an MP, Ashworth worked as an adviser for Gordon Brown in Downing Street and as head of party relations for Ed Miliband.
Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly said: “This is an honest and truly devastating assessment of Jeremy Corbyns leadership by one of his most trusted election lieutenants. He admits that Labour has blocked Brexit and that is why voters cant sRead More – Source