If this election were just about hard work and sheer footwork on the ground, the Labour party would have won a landslide majority. Labour activists could not have worked harder. This defeat wasn’t theirs. I believe in party democracy. And I believe Labour members have just as big a responsibility to listen to the voters as me.
And what I would say to Jeremy Corbyn and his apologists is they had everything they wanted at this election. They had the leader they wanted, the NEC [national executive committee] they wanted, the political strategy they wanted and, having sacked a load of people in head office, the executive leadership that they wanted too.
The one thing they didn’t have was the support of the British people. You can sideline Labour MPs, you can sack the staff, you can deselect the NEC and all the rest of it, but you can’t deselect the voters, and it’s time we started listening to Labour voters. Because right across the country, in leave seats like mine, in remain seats, Labour’s vote share went down.