Brexit was a real problem for us.
It was the straw that broke the camel's back.
And the reason it was the problem was because our response to it
was so utterly tone deaf.
We didn't understand what people were trying to tell us.
We skipped straight to the legal and technical parts of the question.
We then went back to people and we had members
of our shadow cabinet saying, if you'd voted to leave, you were either stupid,
too stupid to understand the question or you were a racist.
– Who said that?
And so there was a moment after the election when Diane Abbott went out
and said that this was about xenophobia and racism, pure and simple.
And I had that conversation with Diane at the time because I was serving
in the shadow cabinet.
This is 52% of this country.
But then we had other people ...
We had half the shadow cabinet over here arguing for remain and saying
they were picking a side and they were picking remain.
We had another half of the shadow cabinet over there saying they were picking leave
and they were arguing for leave.
Between them, they managed to insult the entirety of this country,
where remainers were caricatured as liberal elitists and leavers
were caricatured as stupid racists.
I know that we have the best intentions to try and bring together those
who voted leave and those who voted remain.
But unfortunately, we focused a lot on what was happening
within Westminster and didn't convey what we were trying to do to our communities.
And that led to a lack of trust.
It led many people in my constituency, for example, to think that we
were trying to overturn the result of the referendum.
And if you were strongly pro EU, you felt that we weren't taking
a strong enough position and it took so many other things down with it.
So in that election, when we should have been talking about jobs, aspiration,
industry, what the future would look like, we weren't.
We were talking about Brexit and trying to justify our position,
which was confusing anyway.
I went to 44 constituencies in the general election with
different campaign teams across the whole United Kingdom.
And in particular in leave areas and every team was talking about the same thing.
What's coming out of the door?
One of the big issues – there was complete uniformity across the country –
it was, number one, the leadership, fairly or unfairly, rightly or wrongly,
anybody within that campaign knows that was the number one thing that came up.
I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying let's be honest about it.
The second thing was Brexit, of course.
But that came up differently.
If you're campaigning in the Midlands, it came up in a particular way.
If you're campaigning in Scotland, it came up with a completely different way.
But it did come up. I accept that and I'll come back to it, Anushka,
because of that.
The third thing that came up with, this is not me, this is the team
reporting to me, was the manifesto overload.
Now, whether what was in the manifesto was right or wrong,
there was too much.
There was a tipping point and it didn't matter whether it's good or bad
because people didn't believe we could deliver it.
All of us and this is, myself included, have to recognise that
we have now left the EU and therefore the leave remain argument is gone
and we need to focus on the next challenge and what Johnson does with the negotiations.
But we won't go to the next election as a Brexit election.
So be honest about the analysis of this one but let's look, let's look at the 2024
situation in terms of how we.