Reuters Thursday, 18 May 2017 170 views

Labour can’t win: Union

LONDON (Reuters) – The leader of Britain’s biggest workers’ union has said he couldn’t see the opposition Labour Party winning a June 8 parliamentary election, a remarkable statement from one of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s most powerful supporters.
 

Len McCluskey, the general secretary of the Unite union, told Politico it would be a success for Labour if it could hold on to 200 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons – or 29 fewer than the party now holds.
 

“The scale of the task is immense. People like me are always optimistic...things can happen. But I don’t see Labour winning. I think it would be extraordinary,” Mr McCluskey said.
 

He blamed what he described as media bias against Mr Corbyn, a veteran left-winger who after decades on the rebellious fringe of the party unexpectedly became Labour leader in 2015 on a wave of enthusiasm from grassroots party members.
 

Mr Corbyn remains popular with the party membership and his campaign events attract large and fervent crowds, but he has lost the confidence of most of Labour's members of parliament and has extremely low popularity ratings among the broader electorate.
 

Opinion polls suggest Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party is up to 20 percentage points ahead of Labour.
 

Politico quoted Mr McCluskey as saying working class voters who plan to vote Conservative for the first
 

time will do so “because their mind is being turned by the constant attack of the media on Jeremy Corbyn and the image that they’ve pinned on Jeremy”

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