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Shropshire Star comment: Fears over Labour shared by many

By Shropshire Star | Opinions | Published:

Jeremy Corbyn was in chipper mood when he brought Labour's general election bandwagon to his home county of Shropshire.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to supporters in Telford

And why wouldn't he be?

The Tories have made the worst possible start, with cabinet minister Alun Cairns forced to resign and Jacob Rees-Mogg's utterly insensitive comments about the Grenfell tragedy playing right into the hands of the Labour leader.

It certainly set the stage for Mr Corbyn's speech in Telford, during which he outlined his plan to radically transform Britain under his premiership.

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The Midlands is set to be a key battleground in the December poll, and Mr Corbyn will be acutely aware that winning seats across Shropshire will go some way towards sealing his passage into Number 10.

But his appeal for voters to help him bring the country together may get more traction if only his party was not in such a complete mess.

Across the country, decent, hardworking Labour members are finding themselves ostracised, usually because they do not fit in with the party's Momentum-led clique.

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Mockery

The treatment of Dr Laura Davies is an all too common example. The former Shrewsbury candidate was pushed out by members of her local party,

Such episodes make a mockery of the Labour leadership's claims of forging a united front to take on the Tories.

Today's news that former Labour minister Ian Austin is backing Boris Johnson to win the election is a further jolt to Mr Corbyn's ambitions.

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The high profile Midlands MP was in his fourth decade as a Labour member when he quit the party earlier this year, furious at its lurch towards the hard-left under Mr Corbyn.

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And while the Labour leader will be spending the next five weeks promising "real change" and "transformation", the reality is that Mr Austin's fear of a Corbyn-led government is shared by millions.

Voters are by now used to Labour doing its dirty washing out in the open. It has been that way since Mr Corbyn took office in 2015.

What is less easy to tolerate is the hardline, closed-shop outlook of the party since he took over.

Mr Corbyn will need a lot more than warm words if he is to stand any chance of winning over the people of Shropshire.

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